Links 5/25/10

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Sorry, brief posts tonight, I am traveling tomorrow and have meetings Wed and Thursday….

French farmers turn Champs-Elysees into huge farm BBC

Oil reaches Louisiana shores Boston Globe. A photo series.

What spill? Rig owner approves $1 billion dividend to shareholders RawStory. That move is not going unnoticed, see Senators Call on AG DOJ to Investigate Transocean Ltd. Money Transfers (hat tip reader Tim S)

Your Household’s Share Of The September 2008 Economic Collapse: $104,350 Consumerist, citing Pew Research.

63% Favor Repeal of National Health Care Plan Rasmussen (hat tip Pat Caddell)

The NYT Notices Provision of Health Care Bill It Previously Opted to Ignore Dean Baker

Unwarrented: Does Buffett deserve his outsider rep? New York Magazine (hat tip Ed Harrison, who I hope will elaborate upon his not very charitable e-mail comments in a guest post).

What is it really all about? billy blog

How to cure the euro’s ills Financial Times (hat tip reader Swedish Lex). Today’s must read.

Antidote du jour. This is Scott’s cat D’Artagnan, surveying his domain. Scott insists D’Art is a very nice cat, but is oft maligned as a psycho/socio-path by certain house guests.


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  1. Skippy

    Re Billy’s blog:

    The beasts of burden are shuffled from one paddock to another, then transported to where they know not, Fed substance that their ancestors would not recognize, some hear metallic chimes before their demise, where as others are milked by rubber gloves in unfamiliar acts, but all dream bovine heaven awaits if they heed their masters calling.

    Skippy…lovely work has been done on taking away the ancestral signals to one’s demise.

    1. craazyman

      ha ha. Plus ca change, plus ce le meme chose. The words change but the song remains the same.

      I’m intrigued by this billyblog stuff. I like his rebellious and bull-shit-less probing of the social idiocies that lend themselves (no pun intended) to monetary analysis.

      But when he says that national debt is “cumulative wealth held in the form of public debt by the non-government sector” it makes me stumble.

      Wealth it is, provisionally, and only because of its possible transformation into a stable currency in the public markets. But if that transformation potential erodes, or vanishes, then wealth it surely is not. It’s just a big empty bag that somebody is holding. It seems to me that wealth is far more than a snapshot of a given state of affairs, it’s a system of cooperation and belief. But others have said the same here and I won’t belabor it.

      1. Greg

        “But when he says that national debt is “cumulative wealth held in the form of public debt by the non-government sector” it makes me stumble.

        Wealth it is, provisionally, and only because of its possible transformation into a stable currency in the public markets. But if that transformation potential erodes, or vanishes, then wealth it surely is not. It’s just a big empty bag that somebody is holding. It seems to me that wealth is far more than a snapshot of a given state of affairs, it’s a system of cooperation and belief.”

        Well craazyman, would you rather NOT have a few more zeros in your account? The debt IS simply a measurement of the money in private hands that is generating interest.

        You are correct to say it is not truly wealth….YET… but it is also the only way I know of to acquire that which you believe IS truly wealth. Money is “that which we use to place a price on things”. I’d rather have more of it then less of it. I certainly (and Bill Mitchell does too) understand that there are no guarantees that my money will get me what I want down the road when I decide to spend it but I STILL would rather have more money than less money right now. So an increasing national debt is not worrisome to me (although I personally am not receiving any of the interest payments)

  2. attempter

    Re the “little noticed provision” in the health racket bailout:

    Baker’s right, the NYT is telling the literal truth about how it led the MSM in taking little notice of this and every other stupid or kleptocratic aspect of this atrocious bill. Also taking little notice were all the liberal teabaggers who mindlessly supported it because their establishment betters told them to.

    Of course, the true public interest commentators, the anti-corporatists, noticed and called attention to it all, but nobody listened.

    As always, if the plan goes as intended, criminals will profit and the non-rich will suffer and die.

    Re $1 billion to shareholders:

    That’s as clear-cut an example of fraudulent conveyance as you’re gonna see. But look at how they tried to fix everything according to the system’s rigged laws, always meant to set up a disaster capitalist catch-22.

    As I said two days ago and yesterday, this level of vandalism and robbery is capital crime, plain and simple.

  3. alex

    Re: 63% Favor Repeal of National Health Care Plan

    I wonder what the numbers would be if this had been a better bill. For example including a public option and having it and Medicare negotiate on drug prices.

  4. Ina Deaver

    That is a fine specimen of a cat. He is giving the photographer the “What are YOU looking at, fool?” Gotta love furballs.

    Thing is, there are farms within a very short distance of Paris. The food that they get is trucked in a very little way, and they can still vacation on farms within an hour from home. US urban centers are somehow much farther removed from the produce around them, and that is before you consider that most of what shows up in the grocery store is from Chile, Mexico, or California (which here on the East Coast, might as well be Chile). Farming in this country is becoming exclusively a corporate affair.

    I wish that they would take over the mall in Washington D.C. with a farm or at least a livestock show. As a nation we’re losing touch with dirt.

    1. Lyle

      Of course cats have all humans pegged, find a good human and make he/she your slave. The live the life of riley. Clearly cats are smarter than humans and have domesticated the humans. (House Cats in particular).

  5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    They think of the cat as a psycho/socio-path? Have they ever asked him what he thinks of the intruding human guests?

  6. eric anderson

    A cat giving us the evil eye is supposed to be an antidote to what, exactly? :)

  7. itad?

    Tapping Symbiotic Relativity Circuits

    Current market activity is like a group of old hands playing virtual poker with a new kid. They don’t know how the kid plays or how many chips she has, but they are absolutely certain that their cartel system will prevail, right up until they realize that the kid has a whole lot more chips than they do, she was trained from birth at the game, and her friends designed the poker algorithm.

    Up until now, it has just been play, to give everyone, but the market-makers and their hard-core followers, an opportunity to get off the table. Next come the examples. They can’t help themselves; their master bred them to take pride in their ignorance. Everyone has had an opportunity to see how the proprietors play the game. If anyone wants to believe the reported data at this point, and come back through a one-way valve, that’s a choice. Everyone has a choice.

    Enterprise architecture is fundamentally about building a container for gravity, beyond the knowledge of gravity, and allowing gravity to trap itself. In the real world, thieves are not wired to be the brightest bulbs. You can always rely on gravity to think it knows. What’s the latest slogan, a teaching moment? This a learning moment, decide and do.

    Gravity is contained. What you do with it is up to you. We can provide food, shelter, and housing for everyone, with massive excess global capacity, and we are killing diversity on this planet. Why is anyone working more than 20 hours a week? Why are workers herded from the moment they wake up, until the moment they go to sleep? What are the rules?

    You have three phase power, with a neutral for algebraic reduction of trouble signals. There are several million people on this planet that can solve that oil flow problem tomorrow. How are you going to write the rules for that PLC so one of them shows up tomorrow, is directly escorted to the problem site, and control is released until project completion? (there were people on that platform that could have prevented the problem if allowed to do so, and designers that anticipated the problem. Remind anyone of Challenger?)

    Do you really think anyone in leadership/agency is capable of surfing the technology wave? Or are they figureheads, paid very well to represent gravity?

    voluntarily oblivious: “I don’t know how to fix it. I’m not an expert. But I know we cannot solve a debt problem with more debt.”

    click/gear: “Positions of leadership equate power with a license to steal … and retaliation (against dissent) is certain … the length of which is only limited by their viciousness … while the culprit is rewarded with ever greater positions of power and money.”

    smarter, not harder: virtual rules to balance the fulcrum, ensuring virtual stators, to accept the virtual rotor when it is needed.

    The enterprise architects are already two bridges ahead. You know when Scotty says I’m giving you all she’s got Captain, and then proceeds to bring more power online? When I say phase D is significantly underway, I mean phase D has already been beta tested. The inherent problem of government is that it naturally produces a deficit, as its trouble signal, which means that the rules have to allow individuals to clearly see trouble momentum, and maintain the necessary net surplus.

    Within the current constitution, the enumerated powers is the looking glass (balance of power was designed to keep everyone busy, and away from “un”enumerated powers), which provides a basis for proving intent, keeping you 2 steps ahead, with a surplus buffer. Free markets do work, when they are free. Effective net liberty is the feedback loop required to steer them, and markets means markets, at least 30 independent markets preferably. An efficient market brakes and accelerates automatically with steering. Regulation is the point of balance for the fulcrum, and, in an emergency, can be used to manually brake. The objective is to drive the denominator down to zero, in quantum development cycles. Agency is the net responsibility not taken by individuals.

    There is no group insurance plan that can hedge against evolution, because NET INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY TAPS THE PLANETARY SUPPLY CIRCUIT. All you can do is provide the population with the opportunity to educate itself. The portion that sees that as a threat becomes the gravity, which brings us back to the container, within which gravity automatically triggers increasing pressure and decreasing volume. Use your meter, the feedback signal, to set the gap, for whatever voltage you require, to tap the supra-circuit, the planetary field in this case.

    The US Constitution cannot contain the breeder reactor required to power the next stage of technology (and our containment field is not a permanent structure). It was not designed to bring planetary saturation into equilibrium, or as a base upon which to mount space exploration, from the viral demographic acceleration created by all the previously discussed short-circuits (the original could have been updated from geographic space travel, had the stack action not been shorted, to create the recursive mess you now see before you). The primary focus of the law should be the law. Individual errors are relatively rare, and they are not errors. They are feedback signals telling you that the breeder reactor is in trouble.

    The distribution of income and growth of government are symptoms, not problems. The 2 phase symbiotic circuit between government and multi-nationals cannot be substituted to tap the planetary circuit. It opens the symbiotic relativity circuit, and dead shorts the human economy, transforming the latter into a virus.

    $65 is the supply-side economy contract equilibrium / cartel price, to keep their respective false economies above water. It is not the real supply and demand price, which is something under $30, and therein lies the solvency trap. The multi-nationals, which are controlled by the old families, which is why the CFA could not push through shareholder reform, have employed oil as their primary adjusting mechanism, addicting the global economy / “the new world order/same as the old order, with more agency”. One way or another, the voltage in the neutral is going to 0. They are already talking up / backstopping the Alberta Sands.

    So, there I was, talking to the Alberta Sand Rats, their own name for themselves, and it was just like talking to the American kids marching off to find WMDs …

  8. Al Fin

    Those American kids marched off and found the biggest WMD in Iran: Saddam Hussein’s brain. They turned the WMD over to the Iraqi government for summary justice. The blood and oxygen supply to the WMD were terminated using hemp strands under tension.

  9. Valissa

    Michael Hudson… What Would Jesus Say? The Chicago Boys’ Free Market Theology

    Many academics recently received a petition signed by 111 University of Chicago faculty members, explaining that “without any announcement to its own community, [the University] has commissioned Ann Beha Architects, a Boston firm, to remake the Chicago Theological Seminary building into a home for the Milton Friedman Institute for Research in Economics (MFIRE) and has renewed aggressive fund-raising activity for the controversial Institute.”

    It would be hard to find a more fitting metaphor than what the press release characterizes as “conversion of the Seminary building into a temple of neoliberal economics.” …

    By “free market,” the Chicago Boys mean giving free reign to the financial sector – as opposed to the classical economists’ idea of freeing markets from rent and interest. Whereas traditional religion sought to lay down precepts for regulation, the Friedman Institute will promote deregulation. Physically replacing the theology school with a “temple of neoliberal economics” is ironic inasmuch as one tenet that all the major religions held in common at one point or other was opposition to the charging of interest.

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