Links 5/17/10

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“Making Friends With Evil”: A Fable for Our Times Chris Floyd

The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment Peter Beinhart, New York Review of Books

US says BP move to curb oil leak ‘no solution’ BBC. Note the contrast with US headlines: Oil-Spill Fight Shows Progress Wall Street Journal and BP Reports Some Success in Capturing Leaking Oil New York Times. Probably the best explanation here: Feds: BP’s mile-long oil tube ‘not a solution to the problem’ Raw Story

Judge H. Lee Sarokin: Why Should There Be Any Liability Limitation for Oil Spills? Huffington Post

How Will They Spin This? Paul Krugman

Texas schools board rewrites US history with lessons promoting God and guns Guardian

Class Warfare: Hundreds Protest Outside Bankers’ Houses In DC Huffington Post. I’m not keen about this sort of thing, but not surprised to see it happening.

America’s Ten Most Corrupt Capitalists Alternet (hat tip reader John L)

Dimon Tries, Fails to Pacify Syracuse Protester With Phone Call Bloomberg (hat tip reader John L). Blankfein is getting his wish, he is not alone in the hot seat.

Support for Spanish government falls sharply Financial Times

Early Easter hits retail sales as April figures show nationwide drop Independent

Going to Extreme Paul Krugman. We pointed to the article he cites over the weekend.

Forget the wolf pack – the ongoing euro crisis was caused by EMU Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Antidote du jour:

Picture 45

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  1. Jim

    Yves – there are better and worse protest tactics/groups, but it is hard to imagine moving forward on banking reform without protest.

    The great legislation of the 30s was in part a response to massive protests and labor organization.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Please re-read the article. I am not opposed to protests, in fact, I have encouraged readers to attend them. I AM opposed to harassing individuals at their homes. They are very likely to be counerproductive. They can lead to sympathy for the people targeted, particularly if the crowd gets ugly.

      1. Number2son

        Yves, why not protest where these villains live? As long they are don’t break the law, this is the most dramatic form of protest. Too many of the creeps behind the financial meltdown think they can hide from accountability. Would that Baer should suffer one tenth the pain he has caused so many others in this country.

    2. EmilianoZ

      My preferred way of protesting would be an organized bank run on BofA and Citigroup. There are enough alternatives, credit unions and other small banks.

      But any kind of action is better than nothing. My guess is that they visited Baer’s home because they couldn’t get huge numbers of protesters. A crowd of a few hundreds on the national Mall would look puny but can look impressive on a small lawn. The organizers can be congratulated for getting the optimal effect from a relatively small crowd.

  2. rjs

    a typical oil tanker carries 1/2 million barrels, so they should fill 2 a day if they clain to have the spill under control…

  3. attempter

    Re Chris Floyd:

    Ten years ago I would’ve laughed at a term like “evil”, which I considered theological childishness.

    But after eight years of the Bush horror, of seeing all the most vile forms of greed and corruption at their most aggressive, and every aspect of Nazi police-statism creeping in the shadows behind, I’d changed my mind to some extent.

    But I still thought maybe there was a struggle going on for the alleged soul of the “country”. It seemed that way sometimes, when the Republicans were in power.

    But since Obama came in, and since he has done nothing but continue every Bush crime of empowering greed, nazifying the police state, crushing democracy, and enshrining kleptocracy; not only continuing these crimes but in most cases accelerating them; and since I now see how there was almost never any principled opposition to Republican crimes, but only opposition based on Democratic partisanship, while the Democrats and “liberals” were always secretly salivating with eagerness to commit the same crimes themselves; now that it’s clear American democracy and every supposed American and human value are held in absolute contempt by the entire “elite” of Bailout America (a gutter vermin elite propped up only by filthy money), while only a handful of believers in freedom and humanity still exist, and these scattered and disenfranchised; now that the full malignant reality of Bailout America is absolutely clear, the only proper term is “evil”.

  4. LeeAnne

    (II) A Story for the Children: Making Friends with Evil

    the problem with a tedious morality story such as this about the obvious is that the people who need this level opf explanation don’t read.

  5. LeeAnne

    Class Warfare: Hundreds Protest Outside Bankers’ Houses In DC Huffington Post. I’m not keen about this sort of thing, but not surprised to see it happening.

    Its not the guillotine and the bankers are not classy. They’re mostly little twits and their twit masters raised by over indulgent mothers in the suburbs. With the US military backing up this criminal financial war against people all over the world they’d be lucky for work driving a truck.

    Maybe demonstrations should be held in car pools at the mall. Or maybe down on Wall Street where bankers can look down and laugh from their granite towers.

  6. LeeAnne


    without the US military backing up this criminal financial war against people all over the world they’d be lucky for work driving a truck.

  7. Iok Sotot, Eater of Souls

    JOIN THE GLOBAL MASS DEBT DEFUALT – 21st December 2012!
    Reset the Debt to ZERO. For everything and everyone!
    Halt all debt repayment on the day the Overmind has selected.
    Spread the word!

  8. Ignim Brites

    Extremely Ridiculous. Paul Krugman is a intelligent man and often makes intelligent and sane comments. But he is such a hack it is disgusting. One has the sense that he is placating his inner Rahm. Bob Bennett is 77. One of the things that characterized Bill Walsh when he was guiding the SF SuperNiners in their great run was his ruthlessness in pruning those team members who were barely over the hill. So the Utah Reps have a number of young and attractive candidates. There is no law of nature that says the old dogs must rule. We’ll see if PK extends his criticism to the PA Dems when they dump A SPECTRE tomorrow. Granted he is a much creepier and more pathetic old dog. And opposition to the FED. Well this may be out of the main stream in New York and its environs; since, of course, the FED serves primarily to sustain its optimal currency area, viz. New York City. But out in the boonies, it is called Jacksonian democracy.

    1. Peripheral Visionary

      The rich irony of the situation is that at the exact same time that that Bob Bennett was being voted out by Utah Republicans for not being conservative enough, Jim Matheson was being forced into a primary runoff by Utah Democrats for not being liberal enough. The radically different reactions to two nearly identical (but mirror image) scenarios is as clear an indication as you could ask for of just how captured the media is by its own narratives. Bob Bennett’s situation fit (well, could be shoehorned) into the prevailing narrative of extremists taking over the Republican Party, while Jim Matheson’s story didn’t fit, and so one story received all the attention and the other was scarcely noticed. The reactions from commentators have also been telling; no end of fearmongering from the likes of Krugman over Bennett’s ouster, while the few who could be bothered to even notice Matheson’s troubles considered the challenge he is receiving from the left wing of his party to be right and proper.

    2. EmilianoZ

      We should thank the Tea Party on this one. One of the main reasons they opposed Bennett is that he voted for the bailout.

      You could ask: did he vote for it because he feared the complete collapse of the country or because like many of his colleagues he belongs to the banksters’ party?

      There is an answer to that. Some time ago senators Brown and Kaufman proposed an amendment to break up the big banks, which was unfortunately but unsurprisingly defeated 33 – 61. You can look at the votes to find out where a senator stands on this issue.

      Bennett did not vote. How do you interpret this? I personally think he didn’t have the balls to annoy his masters but feared a backlash from his constituents. His non-vote showed his cowardice.

  9. John Galt

    Money quote from that biased Texas history book article.

    ” “There is a battle for the soul of education,” said Mavis Knight, a liberal member of the Texas education board. “They’re trying to indoctrinate with American exceptionalism, the Christian founding of this country, the free enterprise system. ”

    Only a real idiot who doesn’t know a damn thing about the history of this country (a typical libtard I suppose) could come up with a quote like that.

    1. DownSouth

      I’ve often wondered what it’s like to live in a make-believe world, completely devoid of factual reality. It must be rather comforting to know that everything can be fitted into neat little boxes: good or bad, black or white. There’s no uncertainty, no doubt, no questioning of the rote learning you were subjected to as a child.

      James Baldwin probably gave one of the most eloquent rebuttals ever to the type of mind numbing ignorance and stupidity, the type that inheres in your comment. I’ll repeat it here. Mind you this doesn’t mean Americans are “bad,” it merely means they are “human”.

      The American Negro has the great advantage of having never believed that collection of myths to which white Americans cling: that their ancestors were all freedom-loving heroes, that they were born in the greatest country the world has ever seen, or that Americans are invincible in battle and wise in peace, that Americans have always dealt honorably with Mexicans and Indians and all other neighbors or inferiors, that American men are the world’s most direct and virile, that American women are pure. Negroes know far more about white Americans than that; it can almost be said, in fact, that they know about white Americans what parents—-or, anyway, mothers—-know about their children, and that they very often regard white Americans that way. And perhaps this attitude, held in spite of what they know and have endured, helps to explain why Negroes, on the whole, and until lately, have allowed themselves to feel so little hatred. The tendency has really been, insofar as this was possible, to dismiss white people as the slightly mad victims of their own brainwashing.
      –James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

      1. eric anderson

        ” that their ancestors were all freedom-loving heroes, that they were born in the greatest country the world has ever seen, or that Americans are invincible in battle and wise in peace, that Americans have always dealt honorably with Mexicans and Indians and all other neighbors or inferiors, that American men are the world’s most direct and virile, that American women are pure.”

        But thinking that “white Americans” believe this is just another myth. The flaws in America are quite evident. We do not deny them. However, conservatives seem to be able to put these flaws into perspective better than the progressive/liberal “blame America first” mindset. America’s goodness is relative. But compared to most other places and systems, it has still been pretty good. We are exceptional in our modest level of goodness. :)

        1. Anonymous Jones

          “America’s goodness is relative. But compared to most other places and systems, it has still been pretty good.”

          For whom? And at whose expense? And for how much longer?

          Answer me those questions and then I’ll take under consideration your supposition that “conservatives seem to be able to put these flaws into perspective better than the progressive/liberal “blame America first” mindset.” Well, I might have taken it under consideration if I believed that progressives in fact do “have” a “blame America first” mindset. So, I guess, since that’s not even accurate (or at the very least it was offered up in a completely generalized and unsubstantiated manner), and the rest of your post contains no logic, never mind…

          It’s so interesting that you chose to respond to DS. When I read his words, “There’s no uncertainty, no doubt, no questioning of the rote learning you were subjected to as a child,” I immediately thought of your posts. You’re clearly well above average in the intelligence department, but you use all your intelligence for “evil.” (kidding…) But seriously, it’s like I’ve said before, “humans are too intelligent to be divorced from their stupid ideas by facts and logic alone.” You spend all your time crafting more and more elaborate justifications for your pre-existing beliefs. Challenge yourself. Imagine that what you were told as a child were wrong, and then play that out for a while.

          I know absolutely nothing about almost everything, but the one thing I’m fairly confident of is that most people around me know less.

        2. wormsapoppin

          Conservatives are also very well-adjusted and content about the Bill of Rights they used to have, but gave away in a panic. Respectful and compliant conservatives don’t need checks and balances, just authorized boots to lick because they know that if they are very very obedient and respectful the authorities will be kind to them and protect them from the other bad people.

      2. Peripheral Visionary

        Not all of our ancestors were freedom-loving heroes, but some of them certainly were. We have not always been invincible in battle–only when we have decided that our freedom was truly at risk. We have not always dealt fairly with neighbors, but we have long considered fair dealing to be a virtue worth striving toward.

        But we are the greatest country the world has ever seen. And that comes because like Britain and Rome, the two civilizations that could be said to compete for that honor (and not coincidentally, two direct ancestors of the American nation), we have striven for excellence. We have not settled for the comfortable mediocrity that China settled into following the rise of the Qing Dynasty (and from which it is only now awakening), nor which India settled into during the long decay of the Mughal Empire (likewise), nor which Europe settled into following WWII (and from which it seems unlikely to ever emerge.) It is not good enough for us to be considered as just another of the middling nations; we strive to excel and relentlessly pursue that goal, and do not rest even when we achieve it, as we have already done in business, in science, in technology, in athletics, in the performing arts, and in a host of other fields.

        We are subject to an extraordinary level of criticism, but that is by and large testament to our position within the world; and our enemies have more than enough material for criticism only because they can read what we have written, as we are also the world’s most proficient self-critics. In values as well as in external accomplishments, we strive for excellence; and though we often fall short, we continue to aspire. I would much rather be associated with a people who can be criticized for falling short of their values because they have set the bar too high, than with a people who cannot be criticized for falling short of their values because they have set the bar low enough to fall over. I welcome the criticisms, as every criticism directed against this nation only reinforces the message that the standard for us is higher than it is for any other nation in the world; and in that way if no other, we are exceptional.

        1. KJMClark

          You’re kidding, right? You don’t actually believe all that, do you? Wow, that made my head hurt. Don’t they teach world history anymore?

        2. DownSouth

          Peripheral Visionary,

          You’re a little bit more sophisticated than John Galt. But nonetheless, you’re cut from the same cloth. You’re to John Galt what Barak Obama is to George Bush.

          I really like the one about how “We have not settled for the comfortable mediocrity that…Europe settled into following WWII (and from which it seems unlikely to ever emerge.)”

          I suppose what you’re thumping your chest about is the fact that the US has the highest Gini Coefficient of any nation in the developed world, in the same ballpark with Mexico, Venezuela and Ecuador:

          But I understand. For you Masters of the Universe it’s important to keep that Gini Coefficient up there.

          Since you and John Galt are birds of a feather, I think it’s appropriate to ask you the same question I asked him: What fucking planet do you live on?

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      You do need to do your homework. The founding fathers were Deists, for the most part. Goolge that and then we might be able to have a useful conversation.

      1. Skippy

        “In his college years at William and Mary, [Jefferson] came to admire Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and John Locke as three great paragons of wisdom. Under the influence of several professors, he converted to the deist philosophy.”

        Washington frequently accompanied his wife to Christian church services; however, there is no record of his ever taking communion, and he would regularly leave services before communion—with the other non-communicants (as was the custom of the day), until, after being admonished by a rector, he ceased attending at all on communion Sundays.[85][86] Before communion, believers are admonished to take stock of their spiritual lives and not to participate in the ceremony unless he finds himself in the will of God.[87][84] Historians and biographers continue to debate the degree to which he can be counted as a Christian, and the degree to which he was a deist.

        He was an early supporter of religious toleration and freedom of religion. In 1775, he ordered that his troops not show anti-Catholic sentiments by burning the pope in effigy on Guy Fawkes Night. When hiring workmen for Mount Vernon, he wrote to his agent, “If they be good workmen, they may be from Asia, Africa, or Europe; they may be Mohammedans, Jews, or Christians of any sect, or they may be Atheists.”[87][88] In 1790, he wrote a response to a letter from the Touro Synagogue, in which he said that as long as people remain good citizens, they do not have to fear persecution for having differing beliefs or faiths. This was a relief to the Jewish community of the United States, since the Jews had been either expelled or discriminated against in many European countries.

        …the Government of the United States … gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance. … May the children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.
        The United States Bill of Rights was in the process of being ratified at the time.

        He can start here:

        Skippy…pure willful selfindulgent beckeian BS…

        1. DownSouth


          Yep. There’s nothing new about the radical religious right’s attack on Jefferson:

          ”God Forbid!” that Thomas Jefferson should become president of the United States, wrote “a Layman” in 1800. The Virginia politician not only was no Christian, but also “denies the truth, and avows the pernicious folly of all religion.” The presidential election that year brought national politics its first heavy dose of religious controversy as Federalist writers in Pamphlets, newspapers, and broadsides attacked Vice President Jefferson for being at least a deist and, more likely, an “infidel” and propagator of “atheistic principles.” Critics reiterated the same arguments: Jefferson avoided church services, rejected the Scriptures, profaned the Sabbath, thought one religion as good as another and not much of any of them, and wanted a government blind to moral considerations.

          Conservative clergy led the assault. James Abercrombie, an Episcopalian minister in Philadelphia, was typical when he urged his conferees to join “our great and common cause” in keeping “an acknowledged unbeliever” from the presidency of “a Christian community.” Rallying to the call, parsons in New York, Boston, and elsewhere attacked Jefferson for the antireligious polemic they uncovered in his writings. In search of ammunition, they most frequently cited the “Notes on Virginia.” “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god,” Jefferson had written in defense of religious liberty. “It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” Then and forever after, his critics expressed horror at such “indifference” to doctrinal truth. Assailing another famous Jefferson work, churchmen argued that under pretext of eliminating religious establishments, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom had been designed to destroy religion, and the pointed to the current moral atmosphere in Virginia as proof of that intention. Jefferson’s proposals for public education also alarmed them. If the wishes of this American Voltaire were fulfilled, schoolchildren would shortly be reading Greek, Roman and American history, rather than the Bible……

          Federalist apologists argued that someone who advocated freedom from religion more than religious liberty could not be trusted at the helm of a Christian nation. Jefferson’s election threatened to “destroy religion, introduce immorality, and loosen all the bonds of society.”
          –Thomas E. Buckley, The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom: Its Evolution and Consequences in American History

          1. DownSouth

            There has always been a reactionary Christian right in the United States that wanted to turn the country into a theocracy and take us back to the Dark Ages.

            The key thing to keep in mind, however, is that these reactionary forces have always lost.

            But they’re like Freddie Kruger—-they just keep coming back from the dead. By now we must be living “A Nighmare on Elm Street 5”.

          2. Skippy

            Studies performed by those who believe that some religious groups do practice mind control have identified a number of key steps in coercive persuasion.

            1.People are put in/or are all ready in, a physically or emotionally distressing situation[s];
            2.Their problems are reduced to one simple explanation, which is repeatedly emphasized;
            3.They receive unconditional love, acceptance, and attention from a charismatic leader/followers;
            4.They get a new identity based on the group;
            5.They are subject to entrapment (isolation from post friends, relatives, and the mainstream culture) and their access to information is severely controlled or deminished

            “ When you buy into something that seems to explain everything, you can soon be coaxed into doing almost anything ” —Marc Sageman

            There are at least four ways people leave a cult:

   one’s own decision,
            2.through expulsion
            3.through intervention (Exit counseling, deprogramming).
            4.suicidal sacrifice

            Skippy…some can live without all the answers, and some can not, how these two groups resolve this issue, will be our shared fortune. I for one, don’t have or know of, anyone or group that can demonstrate its TRUTH above others, save BELIFE it is such..

            BTW thanks for your efforts to promote shared commonality.

          3. Glen

            Jefferson and Washington might very well have flunked high school in Texas due to their rather well documented indifference to organized Christian religion, but they both would have redeemed themselves by their complete mastery of football – Washington as the prototype game making quarterback, and Jefferson as a rather nasty free safety, and their ability to consume copious quantities of beer after the game.

  10. charles

    From Academy Award nominated filmmaker, Charles Ferguson, comes INSIDE JOB, the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 Trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, INSIDE JOB traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia.

  11. Ronald

    “US Christian conservatives drop references to slave trade and sideline Thomas Jefferson who backed church-state separation”

    U.S. History books have always been filled with info highlighting only what certain groups considered worth while information for the American youth. Endless state and local committee’s are part of a process to cleanse and promote various American ideal’s. History books written for school age children are generally fable’s dressed up as academic literature. The fact that a group in charge of indoctrination of Texas school kids has become more up front about inserting their particular version of history into the classroom only points up how widespread the process is and why most so called American history books have little if any resemblance to historic periods.

    1. DownSouth


      Your comment seems to signal a surrender to the constructivists—-that factual and/or objective reality doesn’t exist, or if it does exist that it is not worthy of pursuit.

      While the American left is certainly every bit as guilty of constructivism as is the American right, there is a third way:

      The intuitive view is that there is a way things are that is independent of human opinion, and that we are capable of arriving at belief about how things are that is objectively reasonable, binding on anyone capable of appreciating the relevant evidence regardless of their social or cultural perspective. Difficult as these notions may be, it is a mistake to think that recent philosophy has uncovered powerful reasons for rejecting them.
      –Paul Boghossian, Fear of Knowledge

      The content being pushed by the Christian conservatives and the Republican Party in Texas is, for anyone who has even a scintilla of knowledge of American history, riddled with half-truth at best, and outright lies at worst.

      Just because the post-colonialists and ideological multiculturalists are capable of, and most definitely guilty of, butchering history on the altar of ideology, that doesn’t make it OK.

      It seems like we as a people are un-learning everything we once knew:

      1984 joins Winston as he sets about another day, where his job is to change history by changing old newspaper records to match with the new truth as decided by the Party.
      “He who controls the past, controls the future” is a Party slogan to live by and it gives Winston his job, but Winston cannot see it like that. Barely old enough to recall a time when things were different, he sets out to expose the Party for the cynically fraudulent organisation that it is. He is joined by Julia, a beautiful young woman much in contrast with Winston physically, but equally sickened by the excesses of her rulers.

      1. Peripheral Visionary

        DownSouth, it is entirely possible to take an objective view of history, but the simple problem is that the very limited time available in the classroom does not allow for every issue to be examined. A selection must be made of what to study, and in that selection some bias will come into play, even if the actual materials studied are inherently objective.

        Case in point, my history education in middle school consisted primarily of being regaled with tales of the terrors inflicted upon indigenous peoples by European settlers. Nothing in that education was factually incorrect, but it clearly had been selected to serve the purpose of constructing a narrative; a narrative which, upon further study independent of the educational establishment, I have found to be altogether too simplistic, and thoroughly inappropriate for a basic education (whose purpose should be to provide young people with the tools of assessing the world around them, rather than leading them by the hand to foregone conclusions.)

        Complaints about the accuracy of what is being taught miss the point, namely that there are difficult decisions regarding priorities of what is to be taught and how, decisions which inevitably will involve consideration of such factors as community values, as pure objectivity alone is insufficient to establish an order among competing priorities.

        1. DownSouth

          Wow! I’m just like KJMClark above. That made my head hurt!

          Essentially what you’re saying is that abuse should be met with even greater abuse.

          To meet hate with retaliatory hate would do nothing but intensify the existence of evil in the universe. Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love; we must meet physical force with soul force.
          –Martin Luther King, Jr., “An Experiment in Love”

      2. Ronald

        The process of creating history text books for schools is basically information indoctrination by various biased parties that have been selected usually by a political appointment. This process has nothing to do with creating objective information about our country’s past rather biased information intended to create illusions about our country’s past behavior is standard SOP for school text books.

        1. DownSouth

          This process has nothing to do with creating objective information about our country’s past rather biased information intended to create illusions…”

          Well let’s say that’s true. Does that mean it’s the right thing to do? Does that mean that we can’t, or shouldn’t, change it?

          Essentially what you are expressing is a medieval worldview, a worldview that lost its authority with the advent of the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation:

          The Puritans who appealed to reason in support of popular rights pointed out that human institutions were a matter of choice designed for a purpose and maintained by custom. They should be changed when the purpose was no longer served. Mere length of time—-custom—-is arbitrary, not itself a reason. Consciously or not, some of the Puritans shared the scientists’ trust in experience, in results, in utility. With these tests, one could condemn any part of the status quo.
          –Jacques Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life

          1. Ronald

            The parents of our children tend to teach a variety of fantasy stories to their children from a very early age for example, the tooth fairy,Santa Claus,the stork, and of course the bible and its various idea’s about creation and how humankind should live.
            Its not a shock to me that the parents of our children and grandparents prefer to view American history with rose colored glasses. Your idea that I or anybody should get between the large group of Americans who enjoy fantasy over reality or any kind of real analysis risk being tar and feathered at best or probably shot.

          2. DownSouth


            Ha! Ha!

            Now you’re beginning to sound like Robert Hughes:

            Somewhere along the line the obvious fact that rap and hip-hop are not the agents of a desired or feared apocalypse, that they are just another entertainment fashion, gets lost. And it is lost because one side needs the other, so that each can inflate its agenda into a chiliastic battle for the soul of America. Radical academic and cultural conservative are now locked in a full-blown, mutually sustaining folie a deux, and the only person each dislikes more than the other is the one who tells both to lighten up.
            –Robert Hughes, Culture of Complaint

            Point conceded.

  12. Eff

    Hi Yves,

    your site is always attractive.

    Until this morning.

    Could you possibly address (by cleaning-up) the post from a CONTARD BY THE NAME JOHN GALT. A STUPID NAME IF EVER THERE WAS ONE.

    I don’t come here to read insults.

    1. John Galt

      “The content being pushed by the Christian conservatives and the Republican Party in Texas is, for anyone who has even a scintilla of knowledge of American history, riddled with half-truth at best, and outright lies at worst.”

      No lies or half truths at all.

      The fact is, we are bringing basic history about America back, and we are getting rid of the PC, bigoted and anti-Christian/white/conservative propaganda that the liberal elites have been trying to ram down our educational systems throats for way too long.

      And considering the long and successful track record the left has had in destroying our public school system in the last generation or so, this should be a welcome change. Hopefully it isn’t too late to fix the damage the liberals have done to our kids, but I fear it might be.

      1. DownSouth

        …we are getting rid of the PC, bigoted and anti-Christian/white/conservative propaganda that the liberal elites have been trying to ram down our educational systems throats for way too long.

        This has been building for a long time. Robert Hughes saw it coming over 15 years ago when he wrote in Culture of Complaint that “since our new-found sensitivity decrees that only the victim shall be the hero, the white American male starts bawling for victim status too.”

        Now enter John Galt, whining about the “long and successful track record the left has had.”

        That’s right, John. Labor, blacks, Hispanics, they have their hands firmly on the levers of power in the United States, as is evidenced by taking a quick glance at the Texas State Board of Education:

        (I count three brown faces out of a total of 16, in a state that’s only 47.5% white.)

        And we all know that labor has made out like a bandit for the past 30 years.

        Since this is a finance and economics blog, we’re all painfully aware that those brown faces have disproportionate representation in the executive suites and boardrooms across our great nation too. But I see where you’ve thrown “Christian” into the mix. So if we include the Jews, maybe the white/Christian/conservative is rendered helpless against the all-powerful non-white/non-Christian/non-conservative phalanx.

        Really, John Galt. What fucking planet do you live on?

      2. wunsacon

        >> The fact is, we are bringing basic history about America back, and we are getting rid of the PC, bigoted and anti-Christian/white/conservative propaganda that the liberal elites have been trying to ram down our educational systems throats for way too long.

        Don’t forget to mention that our planet is only 6,000 years old. Bwahahaha…


      3. Francois T

        I feel compelled to remind you that consuming hallucinogenic substances is prohibited by law, in every state and territory of the Union.

        Plus, it is a baaaad example for the kids.

        tsk! tsk! tsk!

  13. conryw

    The houses the rich live in are not merely residences but representations of the lucre and wealth that Thorstein Veblen expounds so eloquently about. When it comes to the harm these people participated in, I say take right to their door-steps and make is LOUD and ANGRY!

  14. Jojo

    Looks like the USA isn’t the only country that prefers to hire foreigns (legal & illegal) in the farming fields instead of the local unemployed…


    May 14, 2010
    Spain’s Jobless Find It Hard to Go Back to Farm

    PUERTO SERRANO, Spain — During Spain’s construction boom, Antonio Rivera Romero happily traded long hours and backbreaking labor in the fields for the better-regulated building trades, earning four times as much as a bricklayer. He took out a mortgage and enlarged his house on a quiet side street in this small city in southern Spain.

    Now, with the construction jobs gone, Mr. Rivera is behind on his bank payments and eager to return to the farmwork he left behind.

    But Spaniards have been largely shut out of those jobs. Those bent over rows of strawberries under plastic greenhouse sheeting or climbing ladders in the midday sun are now almost all foreigners: Romanians, Poles, Moroccans, many of them in Spain legally.

    “The farmers here don’t want us,” Mr. Rivera said with a defeated shrug.

    Local officials and union leaders say Mr. Rivera has it right. Farmers have been reluctant to take Spanish workers back — unsure whether they will work as hard as the foreigners who have been picking their crops, sometimes for a decade now.

  15. itad?

    Making Friends w Evil: where’s Nixon when you need him?

    The Gravity of Mythology

    Pick any mythology. We’ll give Bill Gates a break, and go back to Carnegie. Unprotected labor’s ideas, unprotected labor’s work, and unprotected labor’s capital made steel. Carnegie was broke, but he was one of a handful given access to the required talent during that particular depression. Steel was made with mythology, which papers over differences, and creates larger and larger containers for gravity. Carnegie played his part; it’s a recursive development cycle.

    Within the illusion, an outdated cave is abandoned, for a larger cave. Periodically, humans are reminded that they live in a very small cave, at the discretion of a very large universe. This time around, the recursive conditional at 0 volts is an intersection of many, many waves, within the symbiotic circuitry.

    Swapping the mythology is going to be a little more involved, because the gap is several orders of magnitude larger, but it is still the same problem, daisy-chaining inductive motors, in order, at the right time, recognition. There is a moment in the wave when time stops, for a decision, and nothing more.

    Contrary to popular mythology, there is no plan. There is only adaptive skill and reaction at the moment of truth, confidence in the unknowable. The rest is practice in parallel. Develop your talent and the circuit will come to you.

    Building a circuit in real time is a function of individual recognition, when the part fits, and getting in and out within the moment. It is not a function of command and control. It is a relativity circuit.

    When the rubber lifts off the road, capital is only worth the talent backing it up. It’s a balance, between old families and new families. A constitution is an at-will agreement, which the empire can be counted upon to short. After a few generations, the figureheads no longer realize that they are playing a role in a skit, which is the mythology of the culture.

    If the empire wants to go along for the ride, the first job of the new congress is to retire the top half of the ivy league control circuit, to make room for the new global community communication circuitry.

  16. Cynthia

    The American Jewish community can’t be all that much of a failure if it can manage to convince the-powers-that-be in Washington to appoint five Jews to the Supreme Court. Which makes me wonder why so many on the Left would rather focus on the obvious about Pat Buchanan being a Christian supremacist (see link below) than raise questions about why Obama appointed a Jew to the Supreme Court when Jews already have a monopoly on the Supreme Court. And it’s pretty obvious, at least to me, that he appointed first a Catholic and then a Jew to the Supreme Court in order to first please pro-lifers and then please Israel-firsters. So this makes Obama no different from most Judeo-Christian supremacists in believing that Catholics as well as Jews are God’s chosen people. Otherwise, they wouldn’t believe that the higher-ups in the Catholic Church are so above the law that it’s perfectly OK for them to screw little boys and that the higher-ups in the Israeli government are so above the law that it’s perfectly OK for them to commit apartheid-bordering-on-genocide against the Palestinian people.

    And if the teabaggers are really right about Obama being a lover of Islam, then why the hell hasn’t he appointed a Muslim to the Supreme Court? Apparently teabaggers are so clueless that they fail to see that Obama is not different from them in being a Judeo-Christian supremacist who views Muslims are as being so demonic and so subhuman that he truly believes that he’s doing God’s as well as Darwin’s work by having his armed forces kill scores of innocent civilian populations from Baghdad to Islamabad!

  17. emca

    I’m seeing parallel trends away from the political middle in the links above and news of the hour, the fundamentalist desire to ‘correct’ textbook historical accounts, the possibility of internal dislocations in tomorrow’s primaries, and even the question of secular versus orthodox philosophy within the Jewish establishment; so I was going to comment on possible intertwined significance of all this chatter and future ramifications of such portentous events….

    but then I came across this link:

    The ad starts somewhat routinely with a steely-jawed review of qualifications for office (ignoring the quaint out-westerly music background from some 1960’s T.V western). It then goes into manic mode with staccato of talking-head zooms, followed by surprise appearance of armament, presumably presented as a signal of necessary character for office, or to kill any stray vermin pestering his agricultural adobe or perhaps to shot those bureaucrats feeding off Alabama’s taxpayer’s largesse.

    While I’m comfortable with this and other explanations of qualification, I’m somewhat confused by the close-up of his horse’s face during a rambling discourse on the corruption of current Agricultural (Commission?) office holders. Is the horse going to be the stand-in for the Agricultural Commission in the event Mr. Peterson is otherwise predisposed (maybe cleaning his guns) ala Caligula and the Roman Senate?

    All said though, the ad directly makes its point: I am not your ordinary seeker of public office. I suspect Mr. Peterson has hit a nerve of state voters with his campaign ad, and in response, will cast their ballot forthwith for his application to post. And while I’m not a resident of Alabama, who knows, he may be running for President one day. Stranger things have happened.

    1. Skippy

      emca said…I’m somewhat confused by the close-up of his horse’s face during a rambling discourse on the corruption of current Agricultural (Commission?) office holders

      Pulled from comments:

      @STallyson Take a look at the horse’s eyes at 47 seconds. That is a look of fear. I think Dale was using the gun to hold the horse hostage and force him to participate in the ad against his will. As a matter of fact, I think the horse was blinking TORTURE in Morse Code. This ad will require further analysis.

      Skippy….How ever this next couple of election cycles pan out, it might be advised to view it from a longggg distance away…like out of ballistics range longgggg.

  18. M.InTheCity

    Yves – as always, thank you for linking to Chris Floyd. I’ve been reading him since before 2004 – it is absolutely necessary as many people as possible read his work. It is key to understanding the links between all the issues we are seeing today.

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