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Links 9/11/13

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Arkansas Town Hosts World Championship Squirrel Cook Off Wall Street Journal. Squirrel has a terrible poor white trash image, but it’s delish.

YAHOO’S LOGO REVEALS THE WORST ASPECTS OF THE ENGINEERING MINDSET Glenn Fleishman (Lamber, who in a past incarnation was a typographer). Among other things, in praise of Optima, which is NC’s font (I’m a long-standing Optima fan, always used it in my consulting reports). FYI, the logo is in American Typewriter.

A fridge from the 1960s, a wind-up gramophone and a WWII shelter in the garden: Pensioner has lived in the same house all his life – and barely changed a thing Daily Mail (Peter K)

Pests plague GMO corn — and Monsanto St. Louis Business Journal and GMO corn failing to protect fields from pests -report Reuters (furzy mouse). From end of last month, still germane.

EU financial transaction tax illegal, say lawyers BBC

French unions protest over pensions Guardian

Syria:

Stay tuned for Lambert’s color coded analysis!

Republican says he’ll OK Syria strikes if Obama returns Nobel prize The Hill

A Callous Disregard for the Law US News. Reaction to the speech. Consensus seems to be it was a dud, but it did manage to include the offensive suggestion that if you didn’t support Obama on attacking Syria, you are a Nazi: “What kind of world will we live in if the United States of America sees a dictator brazenly violate international law with poison gas and we choose to look the other way?” People who live in glass houses should not be throwing stones.

Obama Far From Approval on Syria Vote Bloomberg. This whip count on the eve of Obama’s speech shows how support has continued to decay. Less than 10% in favor of a strike. I’m also told in a private briefing yesterday that Lawrence Wilkerson stated that an attack on Syria means an invasion down the road with ground troops, and Matthew Hoh said that high level people at the Pentagon have told him that the intelligence reports are contradictory.

Question of enforcement casts cloud on Syria plan Associated Press. We flagged this a deal risk. The hawks will play this up. Some well-placed sources think the Russians do want Syria to get rid of its chemical weapons, that they are not just being clever at America’s expense. Note that Russia apparently had a deal with Syria that he was not supposed to use chemical weapons without Russia’s approval. So if the Assad regime did indeed launch the attacks, this would be a violation of the deal with Russians.

US, Russia previously discussed idea to remove Syria chemical arms Back Channel

Clapper “cherry-picked” for his “assessment” on Syria Sic Semper Tyrannis (Chuck L)

New Back Door AUMF Bill Being Crafted By Senate Hawks; Alan Grayson is Opposed Jane Hamsher

Beware the New Senate Bill on Syria Nation

Sheldon Adelson to President Obama: ‘I Would Be Willing to Help’ on Syria National Journal (Chuck L)

Rand Paul Huddles With Bipartisan Group On Syria Opposition BuzzFeed

FULL TRANSCRIPT: President Obama’s Sept. 10 speech on Syria Washington Post. Look at the comments. Savage.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

Gems Mined from the NSA Documents and FISA Court Opinions Released Today EFF

Court Upbraided N.S.A. on Its Use of Call-Log Data New York Times

NSA Spying Seen Risking Billions in U.S. Technology Sales Bloomberg. Serves them right.

Riseup and the recent email provider closures Riseup. An option worth considering?

Health law’s ailments can be cured by single-payer system Los Angeles Times. Lambert: “Always nice to know I’m not insane.”

Pam Bondi Delays Marshall Lee Gore Execution To Attend Her Campaign Fundraiser Huffington Post (TF)

New York City Primary Results New York Times. Spitzer lost, basically due to big margin in favor of Stringer in white and affluent (meaning finance-dependent) Manhattan. You can see that blacks, Hispanics, and lower income cohorts preferred Spitzer. But Spitzer also wasn’t successful in brushing aside the hooker issue, and Weiner entering the mayoral race had the unfortunate side effect of putting that even more in the spotlight.

Brazen Voting Fraud Alleged Among Ultra-Orthodox In Williamsburg Gothamist (Lambert)

SWAT TEAM KILLS 107-YEAR-OLD BLIND MAN StoryLeak (Deontos)

George Zimmerman Taken Into Custody Over Incident Involving a Gun Daily Kos

Lehman Brothers and the Failure of Regulation Chris Whalen, Breibart. Yes, I know, Breibart. Wish Whalen would publish stuff like this in better venues. But this is a key bit of the financial services deregulation story that does not get the play it deserves.

Richard Posner Explains SEC Refusal to Act in Lehman Brothers Case masaccio, Firedoglake (rich)

Banks Seen at Risk Five Years After Lehman Collapse Bloomberg. Lambert: “Fraud? Not a word.”

Books Related to the Housing Crash and Financial Crisis InvestorHome (Credit Slips)

US Treasury keeps eye on bond market liquidity Financial Times. The interesting bit is the regulators aren’t accepting industry assertions as gospel.

Student loan bubble ready to burst Daily Kos

America’s economic growth is built on sand Financial Times

Intellectuals as Subjects and Objects of Violence TruthOut (anon y’mouse)

Antidote du jour:

amusing_animal_world (14)

And a bonus:

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115 comments

  1. Skeptic

    GMO Battles

    I posted a while back about the suspect nature of info in New Scientist and its FTSE100 media group ownership. Then about the Board of Directors at the Smithsonian and its suspect in house publication.

    Here we are again with Scientific American and GMO:

    Scientific American goes totally pro-GMO
    http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-agriculture/scientific-american-goes-totally-pro-gmo.html

    I will only ask what does an opinion on the labelling of food have to do with Science?

    A short search reveals that

    “…Scientific American is a publication of Nature Publishing Group, which is a subsidiary of the Georg Von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group in Germany. This group also owns a number of other publishers in the U.S., United Kingdom, and Germany, a pyramid that includes American suspense thrillers, British textbooks, a German weekly newspaper and more. But corporate pyramids like that of the Von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group do not stand alone: The web of relationships among companies is tangled and complex, as a July 28 paper published to pre-print blog arXiv.org reveals.”

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2011/08/08/ownership-ties-among-global-corporations-strangely-resemble-a-bow-tie/

    The article goes on to point out how today’s corporations are interlocked and how power to influence them, in this case what is published, is concentrated. Somehow, I think Monsanto and the GMOsters have a strong presence in these companies. As for “Scientific” American, not even fit for my trash can.

    The larger picture is that all that free or looted money must go somewhere and, in this case, it goes to buy what once possibly were intellectual assets but now are simply propaganda and marketing vehicles.

  2. skippy

    @Lambert, per earlier conversation on Finance Capital – Value Theory…

    Also this section from Capital’s Shadow from the last IAR may also be relevant.
    Quote:

    Profit or Rent?

    A number of these new developments have been taken up by the collection of post-autonomist theorists historically loosely grouped around the Paris- based Multitudes review and Toni Negri, including writers such as Carlo Vercellone, Christian Marazzi and Maurizio Lazzarato. One of the questions they raised was whether exploitation has escaped from the classically Marxist wage-labour form, extracted in the factory or workplace, and been replaced by a more generalised means of exploitation, spread somehow throughout the “social factory” as a whole. The common point of all these theories being the starting point originally posed by Negri back in the 1970s, of the supposed crisis of the classical law of value. The question is sometimes posed as “the becoming-rent of profit”

    This phrase, is Carlo Vercellone’s, who has made this question of rent versus profit one of the centre- points of his analysis. In his analysis the becoming- rent of profit is a feature of a “cognitive capitalism” where the value-creating process can no longer be pinned down to a specific subsection of the worker’s life, in a particular place and time, but is spread throughout their whole waking life, and even dreams. There is a clear element of truth in this in the work of “creative” producers, whether writers of songs, novels, or obscure academic texts on social theory. For those of us who still like to leave our work in the office or workshop, though, the notion that this tendency has taken over the world of work as a whole, is less credible. And certainly the dormitory cities of the factory workers of Shenzen and the Pearl River Delta will not recognise their lives as being governed solely by “cognitive capitalism”, even if the iPads they manufacture end up in the hands of latte-sipping “cognitariat” creative workers in the West.

    Christian Marazzi continues the cognitive capitalism theme with his notion of biofinance. Biofinance, is the idea that financial capitalism has taken over from industrial capitalism as the dominant mode of production. And that rather than extracting surplus value from the wage-labour of externally-directed labour in the workplace, it now extracts surplus value directly from the tendentially self-directed creative labour of the cognitariat, through the various mechanisms of consumer credit and debt. As a descriptive concept, biofinance is a seductive label for the developments we have been talking about, yet its analytical content is at best weak.

    By contrast Maurizio Lazzarato, once a significant contributor to the cognitive capitalism research project, has, in his latest book, defected and now says “it seems to me that my friends in cognitive capitalism are mistaken when they make ‘knowledge’ the origin of valorization and exploitation [...] knowledge cannot provide the basis for the class struggle for either capital or the ‘governed’”. His alternative takes inspiration from Nietzsche and Deleuze and Guattari’s description of debt as power and Foucault’s idea of “making an enterprise of oneself”.

    Yet ultimately, he too remains loyal to the overall problematic of the post-autonomists, re-asserting once more the crisis in the law of value and if anything, applying even more explicitly on the idea that “The financial and banking systems are at the center of a politics of destruction/creation in which economics and politics have become inextricable.”

    Despite the unorthodox Marxian heresies of the post-autonomists over the question of value and the relative autonomy of the economic from the political, their contributions on the question of debt remain oddly mired in the same Euro- (or US-) centric isolationism of the TPRF-inspired “decline” orthodoxies of Foster and Magdoff and their ilk. The notoriously euro-centric perspective of the post- autonomists leaves little room for the role of globalisation in relocating production from the West to China and the rest of Asia and the southern emerging economies in Latin America and South Africa. The idea that the explosion of domestic consumer debt in the West was fuelled by the build-up of huge international trade debts between it and the emergent economies is simply ignored.

    The irony here is that whereas the isolationism of the neo-orthodox stems from their assumption of an almost complete disconnection between politics and economics, in the post-autonomists, the opposite assumption – the total lack of such a separation – leads to the same result. Which brings into question how much either side are extracting their analyses from the facts of the current global economic situation, and how much they are simply extemporising from their pre-existing corpus of theory. – snip

    skip here… I would also direct you to this piece which includes D. Graebers works in it analysis:

    A 5000 year old moral quandary?
    Nietzsche’s absurd inversion of the blood debt values in barbarian honour codes, that so inspires Lazzarato’s essay, is rightly poo-poohed in Graeber’s “Debt: The First 5,000 Years”. Together with his associated dismissal of the “primordial debt” theory of the French regulation school, a school that has had a strong influence on the Paris-exiled post-autonomists, like Vercellone and Lazzarato, Graeber’s book would be worth reading for that alone. In fact it contains much more than that, being a veritable treasure trove for those interested in broad sweep history and anthropological tales relevant to challenging the received ideas of our own time and culture about economic interaction, senses of obligation and debt.

    Of course it is impossible to do justice to such a book in a short article such as this, but if we had to “pitch” it we might say, it’s an anarchist take on Polanyi and Arrighi. It’s the element of an Arrighi- style cyclical “theory of history” in Graeber’s nar- rative that has drawn much critical fire. Graeber posits an oscillation between two different forms of money – bullion and virtual/credit money – as an overarching pattern of history. There are clear parallels to Giovanni Arrighi’s idea of the oscillation between processes of commercialisation followed by financialisation, along with the “longue durée” of Braudel and the world systems theory schools. The justification for such “theories of history” is no more visible here than elsewhere.

    Yet for our purposes here, it is less the cyclical theory of history that interests us, rather more the similarity and divergence with Polanyi’s “Great Transformation”. In that book Polanyi also proposes different modes of economic intercourse in pre- capitalist or “primitive” societies: redistribution and reciprocity. By contrast Graeber, proposes three modes: communism, reciprocity and hierarchical. However while Graeber’s splitting of what appears in Polanyi under redistribution, so as to distinguish between redistributive relations between classless societies or groupings, and those between hierarchically unequal or class-divided groups, is an advance on the original, his inclusion of relations of exchange in the same category as reciprocity is a major regression.

    With Polanyi, the whole thrust of his schema is that exchange of the commercial market or capitalist type, is radically external to the economic relations that are compatible with the cohesion of economic and social relations within a single social dynamic. – snip

    Risk is another category that does not appear either in Graeber, nor in the differing Marxisms whether the orthodoxies of Foster, Magdoff and co, or the heresies of Negri and his comrades. The absence of risk as a category in Marxism, adds weight to the contention of Michael Heinrich that in fact a full theorisation of credit does not actually appear in Capital, despite Engels attempts to make it look so. Simply put, it is not possible to theorise credit without an analysis of the category of risk, which is currently almost entirely lacking in the existing economic analyses of the left.

    Here we need to make note of Jacobin magazine editor Mike Beggs’ critique of Graeber’s book from an economist’s perspective. Beggs notes correctly that it is impossible to talk about debt without addressing the nature of money, something which Graeber accepts from the outset. However Graeber displays a basic lack of knowledge of the different existing monetary theories, developing a posited confrontation in the book between commodity or metallic money and “fiat” or state-created and credit money, which he identifies with chartalism. As Beggs notes, Graeber’s assertion that the dominant economic theory of money promotes the former at the expense of the latter is far from the truth. In fact most contemporary economists accept modern money as state-created fiat money, expanded by bank created credit money. The big economic debate between economists is over what determines the value of such money, and the extent to which governments actually control its supply.

    Roughly speaking this is an unequal three way split between a dominant quantity theory position, a sizeable minority of neo-Keynesian chartalists and a tiny marginal group of post-Keynesian circuitists or “endogenous money” theorists. Without going into the details (and why the first 2 groups are wrong), which would take an article in itself, Graeber’s understanding of chartalism is simply incorrect from an economic point of view, which is symptomatic of his general approach of throwing the analytical baby out with the ideological bathwater of bourgeois economics. Unless we accept the millenarian visions of the likes of the Communization tendency who believe that all scarcity is an artificial imposition of capitalist malevolence and the need for managing scarce resources (a.k.a. the environment) will disappear, as if by magic, come that glorious day, then economic analysis will remain an integral requirement for the movement of self-emancipation of the class. And an analysis of the genuine dynamics of money in capitalism will also be a precondition not only for its critique, but also its overcoming and abolition.
    So, in summary, at the end of our inquiry into left- wing theorisations of debt, we find ourselves in a very unsatisfactory, but perhaps not all that surprising, state of affairs. It becomes obvious that left-wing analysis of debt is lacking certain basic theoretical foundations including the real nature of money, not at the level of abstraction of Marx’s value form analysis of chapter 1 of Capital I, nor yet at that developed in volume III, but one in the more concrete context of a full theory of credit and risk and international trade and the global market. On the plus side, given the current incoherence and ineffectiveness of left-wing responses to the crisis, it would be even more worrying to examine our collective analytical framework and find no obvious gaps. The need for a new research project then, that analyses not only value, but value at risk over time, and through that the role of credit, risk and the world market in the current global regime of accumulation, lies clearly before us. But alongside that analytical project, and inextricably linked to it, is the need to engage in the struggle against debt, one of most significant fronts in the class struggle today.

    http://www.wsm.ie/c/capital-left-analysis-debt-graeber-marxism

    Blogs motto: Freedom without Socialism is privilege and injustice… Socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality…

    skippy… enjoy!

    1. skippy

      I would also make the statement that Negri and others allude too, the mechanical and ideological comport of value via valorising – through the nation state apparatus and bypassing commodity form/ production value. The latter is almost a vestige of an once functional social organ whether it was a good thing or not, in the end, social – environmental.

      This is in light of the transnational movement (membership core? corporate – quasi nation state) and its effects on sovereignty – human rights et al.

      Skippy… questions questions questions

      1. Jim

        But what if the Marxist coded forms of social critique(the primary ideological position of the majority of the NC community) are clearly inadequate to creating an alternative vision and political movement?

        What if the primary characteristic of Marxist thought—its anti-idealist hierarchy of reality is wrong?

        What if what is left of the historic left has continuously misdiagnosed our present situation because its concept of base and superstructure is wrong?

        What if the base—the economic—does not possess a higher reality content (or power) to bring about effects or side-effects than other spheres–such as culture, education, law, and the State?

        What if different “laws” are at work than those described over and over again in an economically bounded Marxism or neo-Marxism?

        What if there is no “base”?

        What if the base-superstructure schema no longer has any merit?

      2. anon y'mouse

        that article you linked to yesterday was, perhaps inadvertently, hilarious. granted, i’m probably misunderstanding it. but what i got out of it was him basically saying “hey, the Owners don’t own anything anymore (just financial interests). and the Makers don’t make anything anymore (“knowledge workers”). and money is an imaginary thing anyway. so let’s just seize, or create, the central bank and distribute the money! everything else will work itself out from there.”

        simple and elegant solution, hidden in High Theorese.

        1. skippy

          I’ve made it entirely clear that I’m not into cementitious ism and ologys (quick dry or slow cure). That is to include dismissing optics and filters due to some form of institutional or environmental bias.

          @anon y’mouse…

          Perhaps inadvertently, hilarious. granted, i’m probably misunderstanding you, but what i got out of it was your basically saying is – Magic is happening – but – don’t expect Magic to coalesce into anything useful to humanity unless it comes from some high priest[ess which is supported by bias confirmation of individual self.

          @Jim…

          You could interchange Marxist with any ism – ology, past or present, and still consider the statement a coherent supposition abet adversarial without granular distinction. More of a fogging the mirror rhetorical devise imo.

          So its left to you to argue a more pro – con past and present reality with possible future reamifications (lol can’t help myself sry), rather that dismissive vignolesque architecture.

          skippy… myself seeks… where some have proclaimed found thingy.

    2. craazyboy

      Yes, yes. “The search for intelligent money: The first 5000 years”.

      Seems there will always be academics contemplating their navels, then extrapolating theories about where belly button lint comes from.

      We’ll just never know.

    3. Lambert Strether

      @Skippy yes this is hot stuff. Hastily and vaguely–

      It would be interesting to work back to when the transition occurred — I would bet in the mid-70s, when chart after chart shows curve after curve changing slope; in particular, wage growth flattens, and rentier income begins to pull away (this is called “freedom”).

      And it’s nice to know that I may be laboring with others in the right vineyard; in a stalled series it would only take, like, three days with nothing else to do to finish, whine, I wrote: “The role of the state is to determine which provider shall collect rents for delivering a service to consumers.” So it’s nice to know I’m digging in the right place, even if that formulation is not perfect. I thought long and hard about focusing on rent, and not profit, but that was my experience in sphere after sphere, and so…

      I’m working on the slogan “market state, feudal society.” The idea here is that every human sensation (but especially suffering, since people will pay a lot to end it) is to be mediated through rental extraction; human flesh would be just “there” as a site for extraction, rather like the earth is there for mining, drilling, etc. (I should break out the ol’ DeLeuze and Guattari to see if “body without organs” has anything to do this this picture.) The role of ObamaCare in this development is obvious, I think…

      So thanks for this really provocative sourcing and do keep pushing these ideas, whether in gnomic utterances or longer quotes…

      1. craazyboy

        I’ll take a shot at it in 50 words or less. Name the two biggest drivers:

        Globalization resulted in “wage arbitrage” which, in the developed world, resulted in lack of income flowing down to workers and the highest income inequality since the Robber Baron Era. This was compensated for by 300% growth in personal debt since 1980 – borrow from the future to support the lifestyle you think you are supposed to have. (which most think is supposed to be better than 3rd world)

        Globalization resulted in “tax arbitrage” which, in the developed world, resulted in lack of state and federal tax revenues. Companies and rich people threaten government with moving elsewhere, or they just utilize off shore tax havens. Taxation was once thought of as the means that government could redistribute wealth, both towards moderating personal income inequality and providing “public purpose” spending in areas not well served by the private sector.

        Just trying to save you a lot of reading :)

        1. craazyboy

          I guess we have to include globalized financialization as the 3rd item for completeness- but I was thinking in real mode when I picked the two biggies – and saddled myself with a 50 word limit.

          1. psychohistorian

            I think you need to look at globalization from the point of view of the “Western” plutocrats and our subsequent class based social organization.

            My theory is that globalization is more about installing plutocrats with inheritance, ongoing accumulation of private ownership of property and the class system developed around the aforementioned. Once these tenants are installed and functional the rest is like shit that flows down hill.

            1. craazyboy

              Well, first they have to climb the hill. Most of what I’m saying is what I remember “progressives” said in the 70s. I’m fast forwarding over 40 years in 50 words or less.

              So I can update this sentence a bit with the current status:

              “Companies and rich people threaten government with moving elsewhere, or they just utilize off shore tax havens.”

              Companies and rich people decided to take over government, and now they don’t have to move and their offshore tax havens are safe. They also can write the laws to their/company benefit.

              Of course the goal would be to propagate the royal line over the coming generations.

              1. craazyboy

                Also I think this whole rentier thingy needs to be nuanced a bit better. Not sure what specific cases people are talking about. Steal and rent would be bad, but I think property rights are generally a good thing – and I’m getting too old to learn how to hunt buffalo.

                1. skippy

                  A while back during a Pilkington Post (memory serves?) thread, I inserted a granular description by some author[?amends] that took the time to do a pretty concise system template approached description of the neoliberal rentier, in my opinion and others here. I’ll try and fetch it for you+.

                  I do agree that one has to be careful with the property issue, people as property has always been detrimental in the end… eh.

                  skippy… wish me luck… as the boss may have other tasks for me today. BTW don’t ever break a Audi key dongle… you could buy a – really nice push bike – with the dosh need to rectify that issue… loony snicker…

                  1. craazyboy

                    Yes, the slaves are in china, but we MUST get competitive – or join the Army.

                    I think property is land and improvements – but oil and mineral rights could be viewed as the commonwealth. Then if you invest capital to build a factory, that certainly counts. Money is your property if it is yours. Other kinds of investment should count – even if it’s silly stuff little folk might buy.

                    But I think the means of how these things are acquired is important, and of course if TPTB can grant themselves government granted monopolies or steal everything via Wall Street (one company I worked for was stolen via LBO), then we got some sorta problem. Probably needs a more up to date name than rentier, methinks.

                    1. skippy

                      Property um…. creation in a vacuum dilemma.

                      “Probably needs a more up to date name than rentier, methinks.” – craazyboy

                      skippy… can’t we start with a KISS, without stampeding to the – you know what. It might startle the object of affection thingy imo. Yeah… I know some like it hard.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        One day, it would be robot flesh that would be there as the site for extraction.

        And we won’t be there to whine…likely we won’t be there at all. We will become of no use to ‘them.’

    4. Lambert Strether

      @ Skippy Hastily and very incompletely as I must break out my color coding markers–

      What is wonderful to me about Graeber’s Debt is the perception that debt (like slavery) decontetualizes and therefore dehumanizes the indebted individual. I don’t buy his cycle idea for a second; it seems mechanical and schematic, imposed on the data. I’m with the Arrighis and the Wallersteins of this world, as well as the Braudels, especially the latter’s emphasis on daily life: If we could get people, when using an ATM (or any other rental extraction device) to think “Why am I paying for this?” our work would be near completion…. Now, whatever these ideas turn out to be, they will need to be reduced to an essay of around 500 words — that is “long form” these days — and then to talking points. What could be easier?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The cycle idea of Graeber is the only one I find intuitively obvious.

        More precisely, it is intuitively obvious not necessarily in the realm of daily life activities, but of ideas and theories.

        Ideas and theories tend to become vogue cyclically. Occasionally something new emerges.

        For example, the cyclic theory of history. It is nothing new.

        1. Lambert Strether

          I prefer to follow the money (or, more precisely, the capital) using an evidence-based process. Arrighi, Wallerstein, Braudel take that approach. Adding, sure, Graeber has a nice scheme, but the world has a lot of nice schemes, and I’ve personally made plenty of decisions, on my micro scale, based on things that seemed “intuitively obvious” that turned out really badly, because what was “intuitively obvious” turned out not to be true.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I don’t like intuitively obvious either.

            But in this case, we don’t further enshroud ourselves in more miasma, as it appears obvious to even a casual observer that the cycle idea has been around a long time, and ideas and theories tend to come and go like fashion.

      2. skippy

        @Lambert… quick poke.

        As the primitives have questioned… why do you pay rent for sunlight?

        skippy… hopefully BBL with some more organized stuff before thread dies, especially that rentier system template.

    5. Calgacus

      Some criticisms of Paul Bowman’s Capital’s Shadow – the left’s analysis of debt & Mike Beggs’s articles: Graeber is better than either of these critics.

      However Graeber displays a basic lack of knowledge of the different existing monetary theories, developing a posited confrontation in the book between commodity or metallic money and “fiat” or state-created and credit money, which he identifies with chartalism. As Beggs notes, Graeber’s assertion that the dominant economic theory of money promotes the former at the expense of the latter is far from the truth. No, here Graeber is spot-on. Graeber here agrees here with the (neo)chartalists, the MMTers, the circuitists. Who rightly see the same confrontation. Mainstreamers, neoclassicals, New Keynesians etc ad nauseum may say they understand that money is not commodity money, but credit/chartal/state money. But who cares what they say? What matters is what they do in the theories they perpetrate. Their monetary theories perpetrate the commodity theory, and therefore get everything backwards.

      Or a ” three way split between a dominant quantity theory position, a sizeable minority of neo-Keynesian chartalists and a tiny marginal group of post-Keynesian circuitists or “endogenous money” theorists.”

      There is only a 2 way split here, and the last 2 are right, not just the circuitistes. The “neo-Keynesian chartalists” (meaning MMT – Mosler UMKC etc) & the PK “endogenous” circuitistes are the same – these 2 bunches of damn hippies merged their communes a long time ago.

      Graeber’s understanding of chartalism is simply incorrect from an economic point of view, which is symptomatic of his general approach of throwing the analytical baby out with the ideological bathwater of bourgeois economics. The “analytical baby” is a baby tapeworm. Throw it out! Fast! Graeber’s approach and understanding is righter than this critic, Graeber’s understanding of chartalism is better. Graeber wisely sent his manuscipt to the UMKCers, but they didn’t notice/read/reply to it. This mistake explains his honest mistakes.

      Beggs’s States print the money, but not the price lists. Is simply incorrect. It is a declaration – I don’t understand how the state prints the price lists. They are too obviously in front of ones nose to see. Economists need to read The Purloined Letter. Equally, quoting Schumpeter not understanding the truth of Knapp’s claim he wrongly calls interesting but false is just misunderstanding Knapp, as Schumpeter did.

      So is But however far credit may stretch money, it still depends on a monetary base: people ultimately expect to get paid in some form or other. There are times in Debt when Graeber implies otherwise. Which is going the other way. Graeber is not perfect, but he is right to imply otherwise, for the former. Yes, people expect to get paid, but credit does not depend on monetary base. Thinking it does is just sneaking the commodity theory in the back door. And not understanding the credit/chartal/state theory. Credit doesn’t “stretch money”. Money is credit. Bank money and state money are fundamentally the same thing, the dependence of one on the other being a merely empirical matter.

      These were problems that could not be answered with metaphysical ideas about the true nature of money. They were problems of social science. These problems of social science were given idiotic answers. They could be answered, the idiocies could be revealed by sound metaphysical ideas about the true nature of money, which Graeber is groping towards, and gets far righter than the worthless monetary theorists of the mainstream. Answered by remembering what metaphysics is. A little metaphysics, whether good or bad, goes a terribly long way, and is completely unavoidable. Because they only incorporate money as a thing, the mainstream theories are nonsense from the beginning, no matter how they pretend to, or more often merely claim to incorporate credit.

  3. taunger

    RE: Student debt bubble –

    Articles like this do not show a level of sophistication necessary to heed their warning. Around the time of the GFC, private lending for student loans seized, just like all lending. At that point, the gov’t bought out a significant number of private loans vintage 2009 (IIRC, all 2009), and shortly after was the originator on all loans.

    Much of the recent growth in student debt has therefore been like the Fannie/Freddie control of lending post-GFC. We don’t hear about Fannie/Freddie bubbles (too bad, that is a major story that never got the legs it deserved), so why this about student debt?

    To emphasize my point, the article mentioned recent grads not having a job – no worry, Uncle Sam is ready and willing to extend and pretend through a variety of programs, Income Based Repayment, Pay As You Earn, etc. The risk of default should be nil, in an efficient market. (Heh!)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Why this about student debt?

      I think it’s because students are a special kind of consumers. Here, the customer is not always right. That’s what you get for wanting to get a degree instead of thirsting for knowledge. Then, you become a…er, customer. And everyone involved becomes sullied.

      You don’t have the problem with, say, auto loans. And we don’t talk about a car debt bubble. Here, it’s always been crass and commercial.

      1. craazyboy

        “And we don’t talk about a car debt bubble.”

        Only ’cause it’s still a secret.

        But subprime car loans – up to 8 years long at usurious rates that would make F. Beard call for immediate Apocalypse – have had a similar asymptotic rise as student loans do.

  4. rich

    Who Do TV Pundits Really Work For?

    And then there are the times when the ideological lines get a little blurry, if they weren’t blurry enough already. Former RNC chair Michael Steele and Fox News liberal Lanny Davis are cable news fixtures — and business partners. Steele’s tenure at the RNC was marked by gaffes and scandal (Washington Post, 4/7/10), while Davis’ history has included working on behalf of the dictators of Equatorial Guinea and Ivory Coast (Salon, 12/21/10).

    In June 2012, they founded the bipartisan-themed Purple Nation Solutions, a communications firm that specializes in “solutions through legal means, political lobbying and media management” for “CEOs, Fortune 500 companies, political leaders, lobbyists and individuals facing a crisis.”

    In fact, it’s difficult to catalog all of the possible conflicts of interest among elite TV pundits. Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell plays a TV liberal on MSBNC — but he’s also an adviser at investment bank Greenhill & Co, as well as an operating partner at a small firm that makes investments in the energy industry.

    Another TV liberal, Harold Ford, who makes frequent appearances on NBC and MSNBC, also has a day job: He works as a senior managing director for the investment giant Morgan Stanley. Columnist Glenn Greenwald (Salon, 7/9/12) called Ford “the walking, breathing embodiment of virtually everything rotted and corrupt about the American political class”—in other words, a ubiquitous TV pundit.

    Once upon a time, such conflicts were considered ethically questionable—once they were exposed by other journalists.

    http://billmoyers.com/2013/09/10/don%E2%80%99t-quit-your-day-job/

    1. AbyNormal

      can’t say we weren’t warned by many…over n over

      “We have currently a built-in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information. Our mass media reflect this. But unless we get up off our fat surpluses and recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse, and insulate us, then television and those who finance it, those who look at it, and those who work at it, may see a totally different picture too late.”
      E.R.Murrow

      1. anon y'mouse

        “is being used”

        the thing that I truly lament about those who disparage others who watch T.V. is that it did not HAVE to be this way.

        we could have used the power of T.V. to educate everyone and have the informed public necessary for real democracy. we could have had what PBS used to be, rather than what it has become (another arrow in the quiver of “infotainment”. see that Neil Degrasse Tyson show for an example).

        and those others who watch the news think that it is their duty to watch so that they can find out what’s going on in the world in order to be semi-informed and thus have justifiable opinions.

        so, the perversion of TV (right from the beginning, I admit) when it could have as easily become its opposite is most distressing to me. this falls into the ease and power of co-optation thread of the Energy Plan discussions that were going on over that 3 part series published last week.

        1. Lambert Strether

          In my view, TV, as it is programmed today and watched today, is a public health hazard. That doesn’t necessarily “disparage” the people who watch it, any more than getting ill from a cholera epidemic disparages the sick. Of course, as you point out, those who poisoned the water do deserve to be disparaged, and I’d have to think twice about people who drank from water that had a warning sign on the shore, or had floating fecal matter in it.

          Adding… It seems odd to me to point to the ease with which reform movements (etc.) are co-opted, and then to encourage, or at least not discourage, contact with one of the main vectors through which such co-optation is accomplished.

          1. anon y'mouse

            I definitely suggest to avoid it, or at least to use it very selectively. and also, to realize as you are doing so how they are attempting to manipulate you.

            then again, sometimes I just watch things the way some around here look at the NY Times: “so THAT’s what they want us to swallow, is it?”

            1. JTFaraday

              Some of the smartest people I’ve known, truly, were avid consumers and observers of pop culture, (among other things).

              Lambert, on the other hand, is a sour puss.

              oops–! “Ad hom” attack!!

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Wrong. The Joy of Sex and The Joy of Cooking were both set in Optima. It’s a very pleasant font to read.

      1. Emma

        …and apparently a very pleasant font to touch when you’re blind!

        Re the antidote du jour – better pic than “Happy Feet” or “March of the Penguins” (both fine films nonetheless)

        1. Emma

          ps. surely the font is unimportant anyway?
          As an older friend who became blind, recently told me: “The powers of observation in a blind man are touching words not perceived by the unfeeling eye”
          This has lead me to both appreciate and conclude, that our disabled friends are more empowered than we are.

  5. Max

    Yves,

    I’m a really big fan of the site. Just wanted to point out WRT the Posner blog piece, that Posner had a major change of thinking about financial regulation after the crisis. He was interviewed by Eliot Spitzer on his show on Current in 2012 and expressed as such. Don’t think the interview itself exists anymore because Current disappeared, but here’s a derivative post on HuffPo about it:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/24/richard-posner-deregulation_n_1828256.html

    Best,

    Max

  6. rich

    Sheldon Adelson to President Obama: ‘I Would Be Willing to Help’ on Syria
    In an exclusive interview, the billionaire GOP donor offers to help the White House whip the Syria vote–if it’s wanted, and needed.

    Billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who spent tens of millions of dollars trying to defeat President Obama last year, has a message for the White House: Call me.

    In an interview with National Journal, Adelson said he stands behind the White House’s push for American military action against the Syrian government. Perhaps as important, Adelson said he’s ready, if asked, to roll up his sleeves and help Obama—the “commander in chief,” as he repeatedly referred to him—corral the needed votes in Congress for a strike.

    “He is our commander in chief, whether we like what he says politically or not,” Adelson said late Monday evening.

    The 80-year-old, one of the most influential GOP moneymen in the nation, is no Obama apologist. He’s still the financier who, along with his wife, spent nearly $100 million trying to defeat Democratic candidates, Obama chief among them, last year. But he is also a pro-Israel hawk who said America’s standing in the world is at stake in the showdown with Syria over chemical weapons.

    “I would be willing to help out the administration, because I believe it’s the right thing to do. He is our only—we don’t have any other commander in chief,” he said.

    The comments are Adelson’s first public remarks on the Syria situation, although the Republican Jewish Coalition, an advocacy group that he chairs, came out in support of a Syria strike last week. His offer of a helping hand came as Russia floated a diplomatic solution in which Damascus would cede its chemical weapons to avoid a strike, something Obama called a potential “breakthrough” on Monday.

    For Adelson, Israel has long been a defining issue (he owns Israel’s biggest-circulation paper).

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/national-security/sheldon-adelson-to-president-obama-i-would-be-willing-to-help-on-syria-20130910

    1. TomDority

      Incidentally, the best way to put an end to all wars is not to begin any.

      “War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.” -George Orwell

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That was precisely what I said to the guy who engaged in a bidding war with me at the Elvis memorabilia auction.

    2. Skeptic

      I’ve been waiting for the War Racketeers to announce 1% personal participation in the waging of Endless War. For example, someone like addled Addelson gets to ride Shotgun on a Drone mission run from Missouri, or other Dick Cheney “undisclosed” location, to execute the Eveready Bunny Al Quaeda Number Two.
      “There he is, Sheldon, push the button!” Ca-ching, that’ll be $$$$$$. This would have real exclusive cache with the 1% and also enable them to exercise their now restrained sociopathic tendencies. And the Neo-liberals will scream how this will all help solve the deficit!

      Or maybe a Hunger Games type TV, where else, show to auction off various Drone Murders.

  7. Jay Schiavone

    “Look at the comments.”
    The first comment I looked at had a TelePrompTer™ reference. Another commenter claimed that no American flag was visible during the speech. How far we’ve come.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Read 20 or 30, not two. The ratio of critical comments to supportive ones, and the vehemence of the critical comments, is striking. I can’t recall seeing this much vitriol, and it’s not standard Republican tropes either.

      1. tim s

        agreed. Many times I skip over the main article to check out the comments and the sharp increase of critical comments over the past year on many of the posts dealing with the most important economic/government issues is dramatic, breathtaking really. I never go to CNN for news, but I do go occasionally to check out comments and all I can say is WOW. Those who have been fairly successful for a long time in directing the common thought of the west are now failing significantly.

  8. real

    Pam Bondi Delays Marshall Lee Gore Execution To Attend Her Campaign Fundraiser Huffington Post (TF)
    by mistake i read al gore is gonna be executed

  9. Eureka Springs

    Via Moon of Alabama comments…

    Today’s UNHRC report here (.doc file) contains nothing on CW:
    http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session24/Documents/A_HRC_24_46_en.DOC

    170. Allegations were received regarding the use of chemical weapons, predominantly by government forces. On the evidence currently available, it was not possible to reach a finding about the chemical agents used, their delivery systems or the perpetrators. Investigations are ongoing.

    That’s it.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Still, it’s a golden opportunity to make the whole region a ‘chemical and nuclear weapon’ free zone.

      Everyone should give them all up…under UN supervision.

      After that, the whole world.

    2. Jagger

      During Obama’s speech, I don’t think Obama ever actually stated that the Syrian government launched the attack but he clearly and strongly implied it while empasizing the horrendous result. I assume many in the audience would reach the conclusion that the Syrian government did launch the attack even though Oboma must know there is no definitive proof. Very disingenuous. If there is a hell, Obama is putting his soul clearly at risk.

      1. Hugh

        From the speech:

        On August 21st, these basic rules were violated, along with our sense of common humanity. No one disputes that chemical weapons were used in Syria. The world saw thousands of videos, cell phone pictures, and social media accounts from the attack, and humanitarian organizations told stories of hospitals packed with people who had symptoms of poison gas.

        Moreover, we know the Assad regime was responsible. In the days leading up to August 21st, we know that Assad’s chemical weapons personnel prepared for an attack near an area where they mix sarin gas. They distributed gasmasks to their troops. Then they fired rockets from a regime-controlled area into 11 neighborhoods that the regime has been trying to wipe clear of opposition forces. Shortly after those rockets landed, the gas spread, and hospitals filled with the dying and the wounded. We know senior figures in Assad’s military machine reviewed the results of the attack, and the regime increased their shelling of the same neighborhoods in the days that followed. We’ve also studied samples of blood and hair from people at the site that tested positive for sarin.

        When dictators commit atrocities, they depend upon the world to look the other way until those horrifying pictures fade from memory. But these things happened. The facts cannot be denied. The question now is what the United States of America, and the international community, is prepared to do about it. Because what happened to those people — to those children — is not only a violation of international law, it’s also a danger to our security.

        Let me explain why. If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons.

        1. Doug Terpstra

          The transcript all but proves Obama a liar—making the “big lie” true through constant repetition like his hero Reagan. This regime has nothing but allegations without proof or plausible evidence —not even classified evidence— from what Grayson and other congressmen have said (without divulging specifics). And if Obama knows this, as he must, then he is lying, period. This is the same sleight-of-mind leaps of inference and innuendo, vials of sugar, grainy photos and cynical bootstrapping used in Iraq by the Dick, Cheney and other “slam-dunk” Neocons. There is no “there” there at all, yet guilt is declared loudly and deliberately — trying to make it so by sheer volume alone.

          This conspicuously-unsupported assertion of certitude, contrasted with actual evidence of rebel CW-use in prior attacks (Swiss AG, Carla Del Ponte; MintPress reports on Saudi collusion), is what fuels justifiable suspicion that this atrocity was really a false-flag operation. Both hard and circumstantial evidence for a CIA-Mossad-Mukhabarat massacre is far more compelling than Obama’s summary presumption of guilt. And the undeniable parallels to Iraq lead me to believe that another false flag attack is very likely.

          From Glen Ford at The Black Agenda Report: Obama’s Humiliating Defeat

          It was a strange speech, in which the real news was left for last, popping out like a Jack-in-the-Box after 11 minutes of growls and snarls and Obama’s bizarre whining about how unfair it is to be restrained from making war on people who have done you no harm. The president abruptly switched from absurd, lie-based justifications for war to his surprise announcement that, no, Syria’s turn to endure Shock and Awe had been postponed. The reader suddenly realizes that the diplomatic developments had been hastily cut and pasted into the speech, probably only hours before. Obama had intended to build the case for smashing Assad to an imperial peroration – a laying down of the law from on high. But his handlers threw in the towel, for reasons both foreign and domestic. Temporarily defeated, Obama will be back on the Syria warpath as soon as the proper false flag operations can be arranged.

  10. zephyrum

    I rather like the new Yahoo logo. However the process used to develop it, as articulated by Marissa Mayer, shows an appalling ignorance of basic design principles. Even if the new logo is perfectly targeted to support the brand, I suspect a good eye and skilled hand could optimize the details of its appearance. But it may well be good enough.

    What I find more interesting is the umbrage of the professional designers. Glenn Fleishman’s piece uses Amazon’s early years as another example: “The worst thing was that there was an assumption that there were no lessons to learn from anyone in the book industry or with any knowledge of warehouse logistics or shipping.

    I’m rather sure that had Amazon attmempted to start from the learned lessons, it would never have achieved its current success. There’s a reason the incumbent players could not do what Amazon did, and it’s because of the “lessons” they had learned that no longer applied to a new world.

    Perhaps Marissa Meyer is on to something after all.

  11. petridish

    Via RT, 8 Reasons the West hates Syria of which you may not be aware:

    http://rt.com/op-edge/syria-world-hate-message-604/

    More about Syrian Girl here:

    http://www.mecn.org/2012/04/syrian-girl-partisan-has-become-internet-celebrity/

    Included in the above article is a link to Syrian Girl’s YouTube channel. I guarantee she is far more informative than Martha Raddatz ever will be. Do yourself a favor and check her out.

    “each civilized person in the world should admit that he has two home countries: the one he was born in, and Syria .”
    ― Andrea Parrot

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I am not sure why Andrea would state that every civilized person would say the two homes are one’s home country and Syria. I can see why someone would say Africa, as it related to Out of Africa theory. And in Syria were some of the earliest human settlements like Ain Mallha site or the Mureybet site where we find the first evidence of fired pottery. But Shanidar in Iraq or Kebara in Palestine are likely older.

          1. petridish

            The scribes of the city of Ugarit (modern Ras Shamra) created a cuneiform alphabet in the 14th century BC. The alphabet was written in the familiar order we use today.

            Archaeologists have discovered extensive writings and evidence of a culture rivaling those of Iraq, and Egypt in and around the ancient city of Ebla (modern Tell Mardikh). Later Syrian scholars and artists contributed to Hellenistic and Roman thought and culture. Cicero was a pupil of Antiochus of Ascalon at Athens; and the writings of Posidonius of Apamea influenced Livy and Plutarch.

            http://syriagovernment.com/index.php/culture

  12. Susan the other

    Los Angeles Times, Michael Hilzik on Single Payer! A very good article. More please.

    Backchannel on real diplomacy. Interesting. Also the scroll’s comments on Rouhani’s diplomacy toward Israel. Gosh… ya think what’s going on here is the reason Shelly Adelson just crawled out of his hole?

    Chris Whalen on Lehman, lack of regulation and our current mess. The highlights were that Lehman’s “assets” had no documentation and so could not be sold (sounds like a laundry), and that its depository was stuffed full of toxic MBS. Whalen’s comments about Volcker were interesting – he’s been as clueless as the next bankster. And his final paragraph about fraud – regulations can’t prevent fraud in a free society – were stunning. But an otherwise free society can nationalize the banks. Wish Whalen would go that far in his analysis, then he wouldn’t sound so defeated.

    1. Antifa

      Israel, America and France are the nations keen to get this Syria business going, so any “desperate” moods or moves clearly stem from economic aims they share. Which points to the two competing pipelines planned to run through Syria, each feeding oil and gas from the huge North Field shared between Iran and Qatar.

      Our side wants the pipeline to run from Qatar straight through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Bulgaria and in into the heart of Europe, reducing Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels. Europe could survive the next time Putin turns off the spigot. Also, China and India would not have ready access to it.

      The other side wants the pipeline to run from Iran through Iraq and end at Syria’s Mediterranean port of Tartus. There it would be for sale via tankers to the highest bidder. That could be Europe, India, Brazil, China. Whomever.

      All the other side needs is for Assad to remain in power, and he can get their pipeline done. And lately, he’s been winning back his turf from the various groups fighting him. And Hezbollah has recently pledged thousands more fighters for his regime.

      Not hard to see motivation for Israel and France and America to act sooner rather than later. Assad has gotta go, from our side’s view of things.

      Russia would like to maintain its monopoly on selling fossil fuels to Europe while it can, so Syria is a highly valued pipeline route — sorry — client state for them. It keeps Israeli and American domination of the Middle East at bay as well, so there’s no hurry up about anything coming from their side.

      Israel may also be rightly concerned about America’s approaching debt ceiling imbroglio. The GOP is talking about government shutdown. Will our military have no budget for bullets come October? Or no appetite for war? Them cruise missile thingies take a bite out of the budget, ya know.

      Or perhaps Israel is just tired of this mess dragging on, draining and depleting resources and morale for no net gains. Assad is winning, uranium is being enriched, America is showing symptoms of another economic crisis, Europe is staggering along — so yeah, the next three weeks might be the last best chance to get some regime change and pipelines for quite a while.

      1. petridish

        Not exactly.

        Saudi Arabia has said NO to Qatar’s request for pipeline 1 passing through the Land of Saud.

        Syria has said NO to pipeline 2 passing through Syria.

        Both Qatar and Saudi Arabia want Assad gone, for different reasons, and are each funding rebels in support of their unique aspirations. There are two different groups of rebels being funded by the two countries.

        “Our side” wants what Saudi Arabia wants.

      2. AnonII

        Adelson pitching for israel/France, no matter Obama’s (US) role:

        “Rothschild is an arm of the French state and the state is an arm of Rothschild. Into the Twenty-First Century, The Rothschild family consortium has been transformed into a very healthy edifice. Unfortunately, one can’t say the same about France.” http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/02/22/the-fall-and-rise-of-the-french-rothschilds/

        “Israel has granted oil exploration rights inside Syria, in the occupied Golan Heights, to Genie Energy. Major shareholders of Genie Energy – which also has interests in shale gas in the United States and shale oil in Israel – include Rupert Murdoch and Lord Jacob Rothschild.” http://www.globalresearch.ca/israel-has-granted-oil-exploration-rights-inside-syria-in-the-occupied-golan-heights/5346959

          1. AnonII

            I should have quoted more from the Genie piece too, since it references one of the Israeli bombings of Syria as of late:

            “Israel tried to make the same move twenty years ago but was forced to back down after a strong reaction from the Syrian government, which gained diplomatic support from the United States. Israel is now seeking to take advantage of the weakened Syrian state; this move perhaps casts a new light on recent Israeli bombings in Syria.”

  13. Joe

    From today’s Guardian UK, by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Ewen MacAskill: NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans’ data with Israel

    “The National Security Agency routinely shares raw intelligence data with Israel without first sifting it to remove information about US citizens, a top-secret document provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals.

    Details of the intelligence-sharing agreement are laid out in a memorandum of understanding between the NSA and its Israeli counterpart that shows the US government handed over intercepted communications likely to contain phone calls and emails of American citizens. The agreement places no legally binding limits on the use of the data by the Israelis.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Did he say whether the Israeli counterpart shares information on their citizens with the NSA?

      1. Joe

        The article didn’t address it Beef. I imagine there’s a quid pro quo but that’s just my speculation.

        Here’s a pertinent quote from the article but it doesn’t address your question directly:

        While NSA documents tout the mutually beneficial relationship of Sigint sharing, another report, marked top secret and dated September 2007, states that the relationship, while central to US strategy, has become overwhelmingly one-sided in favor of Israel.

  14. Jim Haygood

    Sweet payback for two unrepentant gun grabbers in Colorado:

    Two Colorado Demonrats who provided crucial support for a slate of tough new gun-control laws were voted out of office on Tuesday in a recall vote widely seen as a test of popular support for gun restrictions after mass shootings in a Colorado movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.

    The election, which came five months after the United States Senate defeated several gun restrictions, handed another loss to gun-control supporters. It also gave moderate lawmakers across the country a warning about the political risks of voting for tougher gun laws.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/11/us/colorado-lawmaker-concedes-defeat-in-recall-over-gun-law.html?hp&_r=1&

    Can you spot the propaganda? It’s in the last sentence, where the Times-Titanic equates ‘tougher gun laws’ with ‘moderate.’ What’s so ‘moderate’ about nullifying the constitution?

    1. Lambert Strether

      I agree that the lives of a few children are a small price to pay for the Constitution, even if that noble document be shredded in all other aspects, but why not compromise and ration ammo? No Constitutional issues, no grabbing, none of those pesky mass shootings. What’s not to like?

      1. Antifa

        Sigh. I tried that rationing ammo argument on some gun enthusiasts in my neck of the woods, and they were all primed to answer it. The NRA has taught them to stand their ground, quote the Second Amendment like gospel, with emphasis on the “shall not be infringed” part. Then they say that not having free access to ammo invalidates the firearm, so ammo rationing “infringes” on their right to bear arms freely, without any restrictions whatsoever. They had a whole lot more to say about it, but you, Gentle Reader, may be spared the rest. Just know they’re prepared to fight the idea tooth and claw.

        Ammo rationing is a very reasonable idea, but it’s so easy to clean and reload your own brass, get spare clips from private parties that anyone wanting to shoot up a school or workplace is going to be able to bring all the bullets he wants.

        “He wants.” Hmmm. Hey, how come it’s never the wimmins who shoot up elementary schools and Post offices and places they used to work? Is it common courtesy, a wimp factor, or what?

          1. Antifa

            Oh, it’s their talking point. A clever legal argument that may or may not stand up in court. But the NRA has the money and lawyers to get it to the Supreme Court if an ammo rationing law is passed anywhere in the country.

            So it probably comes down to what Scalia and Alito and Thomas think. “Would the Originalist authors of the Bill of Rights withhold musket balls in abundance from any true patriot?”

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                In Chado (or some would say Sado), that is to say, in tea ceremony, we drink only powdered tea. Never teabags. Only powdered tea, as in pulverized.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Well, I figured. “Bear” means “carry” in ordinary English, so I envisaged gun enthusiasts marching about, “bearing” their weapons, even able to pull the trigger. Even able to shoot blanks. Oh well!

          1. Antifa

            With the daily headlines about toddlers shooting one another, idjits “standing their ground” preemptively, and even dogs shooting their masters, our populace would be far safer if we simply armed bears. They’re generally live and let live sorts of creatures.

            Unlike us.

  15. rich

    NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans’ data with Israel

    • Secret deal places no legal limits on use of data by Israelis
    • Only official US government communications protected
    • Agency insists it complies with rules governing privacy
    • Read the NSA and Israel’s ‘memorandum of understanding’

    The National Security Agency routinely shares raw intelligence data with Israel without first sifting it to remove information about US citizens, a top-secret document provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals.

    The memorandum of understanding, which the Guardian is publishing in full, allows Israel to retain “any files containing the identities of US persons” for up to a year. The agreement requests only that the Israelis should consult the NSA’s special liaison adviser when such data is found.

    Notably, a much stricter rule was set for US government communications found in the raw intelligence. The Israelis were required to “destroy upon recognition” any communication “that is either to or from an official of the US government”. Such communications included those of “officials of the executive branch (including the White House, cabinet departments, and independent agencies), the US House of Representatives and Senate (member and staff) and the US federal court system (including, but not limited to, the supreme court)”.

    It is not clear whether any communications involving members of US Congress or the federal courts have been included in the raw data provided by the NSA, nor is it clear how or why the NSA would be in possession of such communications. In 2009, however, the New York Times reported on “the agency’s attempt to wiretap a member of Congress, without court approval, on an overseas trip”.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/11/nsa-americans-personal-data-israel-documents

    1. psychohistorian

      WOW!

      I have friends asking me whey Snowden doesn’t just release all this stuff at once and it is becoming clear to me why that is so. Americans have been “trained” to have a short attention span and if it were all released at once they would grad onto one tidbit and gloss over all the rest.

      This way there is more focus and perception of the elements of overreach and overt support of fascism/corporatism….and it is seeming to be more effective,IMO.

  16. anon y'mouse

    don’t know anything at all about graphic design or typeface. heck, can’t even read my own handwriting half the time (chronic dysgraphia—shoulda beena doctah), but that Yahoo logo is painful to the eyeballs.

    something about the way the characters are bigger and smaller, and especially something about those curves at the ends of the first three letters, is painful. especially against that shiftinghued purple background.

    perhaps I need to start learning braille.

  17. craazyboy

    Oh noes. Mossad and Unit 8200 will be running “denial of service” attacks on our congressmen’s favorite porn sites. And who knows what else.

    1. anon y'mouse

      hate to sound like a conspiracy nut, but could that be another reason why our event (being disgustingly ritualized today, and becoming moreso every year) happened on that day?

      a subtle “clew”?

      1. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

        The Internet radio-show “Red Ice Radio” from Sweden each week have one theorist about as bizarre as the theorist the week before. Some guests have been on about the practices of devil-worshipping and black masses (within powerful circles); another time, it was about numerology. I usually view “Red Ice Radio” as entertainment, but some interviews are not so esoteric, more like non-mainstream.

  18. Antifa

    LATEST MONSANTO CORN VARIETAL HAS FARMERS IN FEAR FOR THEIR LIVES

    DISASSOCIATIVE PRESS (DP) 9/11/13 Peoria, IL
    Corn farmers in the lush fields surrounding Peoria are facing a terrifying new problem after Monsanto offered them a rush solution for a recent plague of rootworms.

    In a hurried effort to deal with the failure of its GMO corn to either produce the bumper crops promised or to kill the rootworms that have been the constant enemy of monocultured corn, Monsanto offered farmers in this region a genetic treatment for their crops guaranteed to solve both problems.

    That guarantee has turned into a living nightmare, as farmers have had to turn to homemade napalm and Molotov cocktails to protect their families from their own crops.

    The new genetic treatment cost farmers only $150 per acre, and was applied by crop dusters in mid-August. It acts on the corn crop in two ways. It inserts DNA from the Dionaea muscipula plant, or Venus Flytrap into the growing corn, giving it the means to kill any insect pests that attack by simply eating them.

    Second, it inserts DNA into any rootworm alive in the field at the time of spraying with growth hormones that so stimulate its metabolism as to make it “grow itself to death” within a few days, according to one Monsanto employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    Within two weeks, wild stories began trickling in from farmers around Peoria County of desperate battles between ravenous corn stalks with multiple, gaping mouths trying to kill and eat equally vicious corn rootworm larva as large as cows.

    It is no longer safe for farmers to approach their own crop, or to stay in their homes. Most farm families have had to be evacuated by helicopter from their rooftops. Several choppers flew too low as they exited the scene and were swarmed by adult rootworm beetles in search of protein.

    Monsanto is offering full refunds on the costs of spraying the crops, minus fuel, pilot wages, insurance and a small handling fee. They have also promised a free triple treatment of jellied gasoline, Agent Orange and concentrated chlorine flakes on all fields to prepare them properly for replanting.

    As black smoke from the burning fields hangs like a pall over this bucolic county, Monsanto has sued several local farmers for slander over derogatory remarks overheard at the local diner. The gag order from the local District Court informs these miscreants that if they don’t immediately cease and desist from making any comments at all about their personal finances, or missing family members, or corn, or worms, or Monsanto, or farming, or Peoria then they will not get any seeds from Monsanto for next year’s crop. And no more Roundup, either.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I was going to comment about surviving Monsanto, but maybe they are right.

      I won’t say how dangerous I think Roundup is. I wont’ say it.

  19. lb

    With the most recent NSA revelations two things jump out:

    1) rendition and torture at Guantanamo were not the only things the U.S. laundered through foreign countries to avoid domestic laws.
    2) Governmental officials were exempted in this narrow instance, but other citizens were not.

    There are subtleties to the above if you think around the edges. (1) allows a foreign nation to have a lot of information on domestic individuals and what they’ve said and done. Is there any loopholey system allowing domestic reimportation of this information, such that all questions about Americans can be asked of a meta-network of foreign Intelligence agencies? Was this sort of system used?

    (2) seems technically too narrow to be effective. In any information sanitization effort, there’s going to be a shadow of what was removed. In this case, the shadow has bright edges; a Supreme Court Justice isn’t apparent, but all of the conversations of his wife constantly refer to him, their day and possibly more. A politician tells her husband something which he relays, and that echoes down the chain… all under surveillance. Piecing together what the shadows are and extrapolating communication, especially with various sets of loose lips, doesn’t seem too difficult for a dedicated and aggressive foreign intelligence agency.

    The drip-drip-drip of NSA disclosures sure is interesting and incremental. I imagine something further is built on these fundamental pieces over time.

  20. rich

    Henry A. Giroux | Intellectuals as Subjects and Objects of Violence

    Edward Snowden, Russ Tice, Thomas Drake, Jeremy Scahill, and Julian Assange, among others, have recently made clear what it means to embody respect for a public intellectual debate, moral witnessing and intellectual culture. They are not just whistle-blowers or disgruntled ex-employers but individuals who value ideas, think otherwise in order to act otherwise, and use the resources available to them to address important social issues with what might be called a fearsome sense of social responsibility and civic courage. Their anger is not treasonous or self-serving as some critics argue, it is the indispensable sensibility and righteous fury that fuels the meaning over what it means to take a moral and political stand and to continue the struggle to live in a substantive rather than fake democracy.

    These are people who work with ideas, but are out of place in a society that only values ideas that serve the interests of the market and the powerful and rich. Their alleged wrongdoings as intellectuals and truth tellers is that they have revealed the illegalities, military abuses, sordid diplomacy and crimes committed by the United States government in the name of security. Moreover, as scholars, scientists, educators, artists and journalists, they represent what C. Wright Mills once called the “organized memory of society” and refuse “to become hired technician[s] of the military machine.”[1]

    http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/18704-intellectuals-as-subjects-and-objects-of-violence

  21. fresno dan

    “What kind of world will we live in if the United States of America sees a dictator brazenly violate international law with poison gas and we choose to look the other way?”

    The one with the US in it?
    Rwanda. Hundreds of thousands dead…
    But you gotta be (dying) in the right place at the right time with the right weapons

  22. Hugh

    Today, September the 11th is well, the anniversary of September the 11th. How quickly indeed we forget.

    I wrote a list of Bush scandals followed by a list of Obama’s until the whole process became overwhelming and blurred together. They are still floating out there in the blogosphere somewhere. I thought it was important to put in one place a brief running chronicle of what was going on, to push back against the tidal wave of current scams and lies that displaced awareness of what had gone on before and in which so much of what was going on then was embedded. I was ultimately defeated, as I said, but I really liked my slogan for these series: “Knowledge is the persistence of memory.” I think that is still true and useful.

    1. p78

      “Knowledge is the persistence of memory.”

      PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: I hoped—but he just failed, the son of a [bleep]. That’s his main problem. He should have kept Allende from getting in.

      Peter Kornbluh of the National Security Archive:
      Kissinger then went to Nixon and said, “Allende is now president. The State Department thinks we can coexist with him, but I want you to make sure you tell everybody in the U.S. government that we cannot, that we cannot let him succeed, because he has legitimacy. He is democratically elected. And suppose other governments decide to follow in his footstep, like a government like Italy? What are we going to do then? What are we going to say when other countries start to democratically elect other Salvador Allendes? We will—the world balance of power will change,” he wrote to Nixon in a secret document, “and our interests in it will be changed fundamentally.”

      http://www.democracynow.org/2013/9/10/40_years_after_chiles_9_11

  23. tuco

    After you mentioned NC uses Optima I went looking for it in my Windows 7 font folder and low and behold it wasn’t there. I just added it and yeah that is one bitchin’ font. Thanks!

  24. optimader

    Personal life[edit source]

    Bondi was married to Garret Barnes from 1990 to 1992, and to Scott Fitzgerald from 1997 to 2002. She is currently engaged to ophthalmologist Greg Henderson; they held an unofficial (non-binding) ceremony in the Cayman Islands on May 26, 2012.[11][12]

    Ok its personal life, but still it is revealing.. love the track record.. no less Unofficial (nonbinding) ceremony? LOL!! Republican version of three strikes youre out, unless it was unofficial?

    1. skippy

      It goes further back methinks, although for early test case that is still historically near I would submit pre-revolutionary Cuba. Castro was a welcome guest to DC until he did not genuflect correctly and then got assigned the “TREATMENT”.

  25. AbyNormal

    Global Human Sex Ratio
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sex_ratio

    One in Four Men Surveyed in Asian Study Say They Raped

    Almost one in four men surveyed in Asia said they committed rape at least once, in a study that may encourage renewed steps to prevent sexual violence.

    Researchers interview more than 10,000 men at nine sites in Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka in the first multi-country survey on the prevalence of rape, said Rachel Jewkes of South Africa’s Medical Research Council, one of the authors of the article published today in The Lancet Global Health journal.

    One in 10 men said they had raped a woman who wasn’t their partner, the researchers found. When partners were included, the figure rose to 24 percent. Just under half of the perpetrators said they had raped more than one woman. The rates of violation differed between the sites: 11 percent of men questioned in Bangladesh said they had committed rape, compared to 60 percent in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.

    “We really need to understand more,” Jewkes said in a telephone interview yesterday. “Bangladesh is not a particularly violent country, but the prevalence of non-partner rape is far higher than one would presume.”

    The findings should encourage steps to prevent rape, such as supporting better parenting and promoting a more gender-equitable view of masculinity, the authors wrote. The gang rape and murder of a student on a bus in New Delhi last year shocked India and drew attention to the scale of sexual violence against women. Four men accused in the assault were found guilty by an Indian court today.
    Indirect Questions

    The men in the survey were questioned by trained male interviewers, and were left alone to record the answers to the most sensitive questions. **The word “rape” wasn’t used. Men were asked indirect questions such as, “Have you ever forced a woman who was not your wife or girlfriend at the time to have sex?”** [...would they have understood the definition?]

    Previous studies focused on the female victims, Jewkes said; research on the male perpetrators had been limited to a study in South Africa.

    The most common reason men gave for the violence was sexual entitlement, followed by entertainment and the wish to punish the woman. Rates for men raping men ranged from 1.5 percent of those surveyed in Indonesia to 7.7 percent in Papua New Guinea.

    Since the research was limited to nine sites, the findings don’t represent the entire Asia-Pacific region, the author said. The numbers found do correspond with women’s accounts, Jewkes said, underlining the report’s validity.
    ‘Safer Future’

    The researchers found that men who had themselves been abused as children were more likely to commit rape. Men with a history of physical violence against a partner, or who had paid for sex or had had a large number of sexual partners were more likely to rape someone they didn’t know.

    “The challenge is now to turn evidence into action, to create a safer future for the next generation of women and girls,” a group of researchers led by Michele Decker of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said in an accompanying comment.

    The research is part of a wider United Nations report on violence against women released today. Funding for the study came from UN agencies and programs, and the governments of Australia, the U.K., Norway and Sweden.
    (multiple links thru article)
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-10/one-in-four-men-surveyed-in-asian-study-say-they-raped.html

  26. praxis

    I highly recommend riseup.net, autistici and other tech activist services. they stand for an uncommodified and secure net. they offer not only email but also alternatives to blogspot,twitter, facebook. all privacy aware.if you use their services don’t forget to donate so they stay alive and can expand.
    sidenote: riseup works together with the calyx instute to bring about an isp which will provide encrypted internet access (not a vpn service but a real isp)

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