Links 4/6/11

Climate ‘fix’ may warm, not cool BBC

The Sleepless Elite Wall Street Journal. Sleeping is one of my favorite forms of recreation, but needing it in copious quantities does put one at a serious competitive disadvantage.

Cops Pepper Spray Stick-Wielding Eight-Year-Old Gawker

10,000 Shipping Containers Lost At Sea Each Year…Here’s a Look At One SingularityHub

Housing finance shocker MacroBusiness

Tepco Plugs Leak of Highly Radioactive Water From Reactor Bloomberg

Nitrogen Injection Planned at Reactor Wall Street Journal

Portugal on verge of bailout Ed Harrison

IMF gives ground on capital controls Financial Times

You Thought the Koch Brothers Were Bad? Turns Out They’re Even Worse Than You Thought AlterNet (hat tip furzy mouse)

UK to Pressure US on Treatment of British Citizen Bradley Manning Michael Whitney, FireDogLake

The impotence of the loyal partisan voter Glenn Greenwald

Moment of Blather James Kwak

Ryan’s Budget Plan Is Ridiculous, But It Could Shift the Debate Dave Dayen, FireDogLake. Why don’t we elect a horse so there’s no pretense as to what is really going on?

A Triangle Shirtwaist-Like Disaster, Buried By the U.S. Press Columbia Journalism Review

China Media Express and a comment on the efficient market hypothesis John Hempton

More Hawkish Rhetoric Tim Duy

Antidote du jour:

Screen shot 2011-04-06 at 5.15.27 AM

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  1. Winston Lim

    James Qwak: Moment of Blather. I think that title sums up just about every article he’s written for baseline scenario.

  2. dearieme

    “Bellingham confirm[ed] that Manning, whose mother is a British citizen, is indeed a British citizen by birth.”

    Oh the irony.

  3. attempter

    Greenwald’s own version of the shill game is pretty clever. He pretends to be an ombudsman for the Democratic “base”, advising it of its interest. But the entire argument is still contained within the exact same assumption he’s pretending to criticize, that they have no alternative to the Democratic party.

    Here’s speaking truth to the Democratic base: The only way you’ll ever look to your interests and save yourselves is by rejecting and renouncing the Democratic party completely, once and for all, forever.

    The fact is that the Democratic party is the exact same gang of malignant corporatist criminals as the Republicans, just with a different line of con.

    The banks and corporations are waging war on America. Who did the Reps side with? The banks. Who did Bush side with? The banks.

    Who did the Dems side with? The banks. Who did Obama side with? The banks.

    If you’re not rich, why would you need more information than this? What other information is there?

    1. Goin' South

      I like and respect Greenwald for many things, including his championing of the causes of Manning and Wilileaks, but he is caught in the box of electoral politics and civil liberties litigation.

      While I’m sure he’d happily defend a practitioner of direct action, he doesn’t see it is the real solution, thus his fixation on the execrable Democratic Party.

    2. wunsacon

      Agree… Voting for a “D” is almost as much a waste of a vote as voting for an “R”. So close that the responsible thing to do is to reject the “D” as well and then vote for 3rd parties.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You are always hurt the most by those whom you naively believe you can trust or are on your side.

    3. Tertium Squid

      I think Greenwald is making a valid point that transcends our D & R duopoly. This is an observable dynamic.

      Whatever his conclusions about who to vote for next year, it is very very true that the blindly and unconditionally loyal absolutely get taken for granted. Why waste time trying to court them – you need to win over the unconvinced, not the convinced.

      If you are loyal to a PARTY then it will take you for granted. If you are loyal to its PRINCIPLES then they know they have to uphold those principles to count on you.

      That’s the problem – loyalty to party rather than loyalty to principles.

      As a Latter-day Saint in Utah, I see this in every election cycle. The Reps know they have “us” so they ignore us, and the Dems know they won’t get “us” so they ignore us. And local politics – hoo boy.

    4. DownSouth

      [N]either the people in general nor the political scientists in particular have left much doubt that the parties, because of their monopoly of nomination, cannot be regarded as popular organs, but that they are, on the contrary, the very efficent instruments through which the power of the people is curtailed and controlled.
      ▬Hannah Arendt, On Revolution

      1. Francois T

        Bingo for Ms Arendt! Translated into American politics circa 2010, we get this:

        Obama exploited the trust that African-American voters place in him to tell them something that is just absurd: that Blanche Lincoln, one of the most corporatist members of Congress, works for their interests. Bill Clinton did the same with the Arkansas voters who still trust him. In light of all this, the next time some “conservative” Democrat such as Lincoln plays the Villain Rotation game and opposes some Good, Progressive Bill which the White House pretends to support — but, gosh darn it, just can’t get the 60 votes for — are we going to have to endure the excuse from Obama loyalists that Obama has no leverage over Democratic members of Congress?

        What’s going on here couldn’t be clearer if the DNC produced neon signs explaining it. Blanche Lincoln and her corporatist/centrist Senate-friends aren’t some unfortunate outliers in the Democratic Party. They are the Democratic Party. The outliers are the progressives. The reason the Obama White House did nothing when Lincoln sabotaged the public option isn’t because they had no leverage to punish her if she was doing things they disliked. It was because she was doing exactly what the White House and the Party wanted. The same is true when she voted for Bush/Cheney Terrorism policies, serves every corporate interest around, and impedes progressive legislation. Lincoln [and Democrass like her] doesn’t prevent the Democratic Party from doing and being what it wishes it could do and be. She enables the Party to do and be exactly what it is, what it wants to be, what serves its interests most. That’s why they support her so vigorously and ensured her victory: the Blanche Lincolns of the world are the heart, soul and face of the national Democratic Party.

        And Obama is the leader of this softer branch of the Reich wings nut jobs called the Democrass Party. Make no mistake about it: the number of truly progressive policies directed at the common good enacted by the Democrass in the last 20 years is remarkably LOW. And let’s not talk about the GOP shall we? Paul Ryan, the farcical idiot leading the budget offensive for them is catastrophically retarded when it comes to engineer something as simple as an honest series of subtractions and additions; so if this is their best they have to offer on such an important matter, let’s not think of the GOP as a valid alternative for 2012…and beyond. Back to Glenzilla:

        In case that wasn’t clear enough, the White House — yet again — expressed its contempt for progressives when a cowardly “senior White House official” hid behind Politico’s blanket of anonymity to mock unions for having “just flushed $10 million of their members’ money down the toilet on a pointless exercise.” That comment was far more serious than mere derision. It was an attempt to exacerbate the tensions which unions have with their members over union spending on political races — a rather ironic sore for the White House to try to pick at given that without massive union spending for Obama, he would not be President.

        In other words, the corporatist agenda of the Democrass Establishment is given the level of importance of The Prime Directive imposed on the crew of Star Trek Enterprise. Even “allies” as crucial as unions can be inconvenienced, when not blatantly ignored. BTW, where is the Card Check legislation Obama promised? Ooops! Why do you think Obama has been remarkably quiet about the unprecedented assault of workers rights in WI, MI, and OH? He’s been sending a message:”Fail to vote for me and the Republicans will rip you alive. (I’ll do it too, but it won’t hurt that much and I swear I’ll behave nicely while stabbing you)”

        What the White House is really angry about is that the unions did not spend that money in order to help vulnerable Blue Dogs and other conservative Democrats, whose agenda could not be more adverse to union members.

        FT: How’s that for sleaze and hypocrisy? “Give us money so we can screw you all up.”

        In other words, the White House wants unions and other progressive groups to be nothing more than Democratic Party apparatchiks, whereby they help Democrats get elected purely for the sake of preserving Democratic power, regardless of the policy outcomes that are achieved, and regardless of how hostile those outcomes are to progressives. The sooner that realization is pervasive, the better.

        As I wrote when AN first announced its project to recruit primary challengers in mid-2008, the purpose was to:

        impose a real political price that [incumbents] must pay when they capitulate to — or actively embrace — the right’s agenda and ignore the political values of their base. . . . Right now, when it comes time to decide whether to capitulate to the demands of the right, Beltway Democrats think: “If we capitulate, that is one less issue the GOP can use to harm our Blue Dogs.” And they have no countervailing consideration to weigh against that, because they perceive — accurately — that there is no cost to capitulating, only benefits from doing so, because progressives will blindly support their candidates no matter what they do. That is the strategic calculus that must change if the behavior of Democrats in Congress is to change.

        Forcing Blanche Lincoln and the Democratic Party to spend its money on a bitter, draining two-step primary fight obviously makes it much harder for her — or any other Democratic incumbent who triggers a future primary challenge — to win the general election.

        The purpose here was to remove Lincoln from the Senate, or, failing that, at least impose a meaningful cost on her for her past behavior. That goal was accomplished, and as a result, Democratic incumbents at least know there is a willing, formidable coalition that now exists which can and will make any primary challenge credible, expensive and potentially crippling — even if it doesn’t ultimately succeed. That makes it just a bit more difficult for Democratic incumbents to faithfully serve corporate interests at the expense of their constituents, or at least to do so with total impunity.

        Beyond that benefit, the very significant divisions within the Party become a bit more crystallized as a result of this episode. In response to the White House’s complaint that unions did not spend their money to help Democratic incumbents, an AFL-CIO official angrily replied: “Labor isn’t an arm of the Democratic Party.” Of course, that’s exactly what much of labor has been up to this point, but the realization that the interests of the Party and these unions are wildly divergent will hopefully change that. There’s clearly a growing recognition among many progressives generally that devotion to the Democratic Party not only fails to promote, but actively undermines, their agenda (ACLU Executive Directory Anthony Romero yesterday began his speech to a progressive conference with this proclamation: “I’m going to start provocatively . . . I’m disgusted with this president”). Anything that helps foster that realization — and I believe this Lincoln/Halter primary did so — is beneficial.

        That is really the key point: it should be apparent to any rational observer that confining oneself to the two-party system — meaning devoting oneself loyally to one of the two parties’ establishments without regard to what it does — is a ticket to inevitable irrelevance. The same factions rule Washington no matter which of the two parties control the various branches of government (see this excellent new article from Rolling Stone’s Tim Dickinson on the Obama administration’s role in the BP oil spill, and specifically how virtually nothing changed in the oil-industry-controlled Interior Department once Ken Salazar took over [as was quite predictable and predicted]; Interior employees even refer to it as “the third Bush term”). There is clearly a need for new strategies and approaches that involve things other than unconditional fealty to the Democratic Party, which weigh not only the short-term political fears that are exploited to keep Democrats blindly loyal (hey, look over there! It’s Sarah Palin!) but also longer-term considerations (the need to truly change the political process and the stranglehold the two parties exert). In sum, any Party whose leaders are this desperate to keep someone like Blanche Lincoln in the Senate is not one that merits any loyalty.

    5. Francois T

      Greenwald is very acutely aware of the R&D duopoly futility. However, the legal and administrative obstacles BOTH parties have erected against a potential 3rd party that would challenge said duopoly are extraordinary and numerous.

      That is why Glenn founded the Accountability Now project who are trying to locate and promote REAL progressives for whom civil rights and justice are more than empty words.

      BTW Accountability Now are the people that were behind the challenge to Blanche Lincoln. See here what Glennzilla wrote about this whole affair: If there is one dude who excoriate the Democrass more than him, while underlying WHY a challenge to this vain, slothful and crass woman was essential, it is Glenn Greenwald

      Lincoln is supposedly one of those “centrist”/conservative/corporatist Senators who thwarts the good-hearted progressive agenda of the President and the Party. She repeatedly joined with Republicans to support the extremist Bush/Cheney Terrorism agenda (from the the Protect America Act to the Iraq War and virtually everything in between), serves the corporate interests that run Washington as loyally as any member of Congress, and even threatened to join the GOP in filibustering health care reform if it contained the public option which Obama claimed he wanted. Obama loyalists constantly point to the Blanche Lincolns of the world to justify why the Party scorns the values of their voters: Obama can’t do anything about these bad Democratic Senators; it’s not his fault if he doesn’t have the votes, they insist.

      Lincoln’s 12-year record in the Senate is so awful that she has severely alienated virtually every important Democratic constituency group — other than the large corporate interests that fund and control the Party. That record, along with her extreme unpopularity in Arkansas, is the reason Accountability Now — the group I co-founded and run in order, among other things, to recruit primary challengers against corporatist incumbents — targeted Lincoln and why it expended so much effort and resources to recruit Halter into the race. We knew that most key progressive factions — grass-roots organizations, progressive blogs, civil liberties groups, and unions — would want to see Lincoln removed from the Senate, and that’s the type of formidable coalition needed to persuade a credible challenger that a 2-term Senate incumbent can be defeated.

      FT: And now Ladies & Gentlemen, let dive head first into the cesspool of fucktardism politics, Obummer Edition:

      So what did the Democratic Party establishment do when a Senator who allegedly impedes their agenda faced a primary challenger who would be more supportive of that agenda? They engaged in full-scale efforts to support Blanche Lincoln. Bill Clinton traveled to Arkansas to urge loyal Democrats to vote for her, bashing liberal groups for good measure. Obama recorded an ad for Lincoln which, among other things, were used to tell African-American primary voters that they should vote for her because she works for their interests. The entire Party infrastructure lent its support and resources to Lincoln — a Senator who supposedly prevents Democrats from doing all sorts of Wonderful, Progressive Things which they so wish they could do but just don’t have the votes for.

      So, why did the Democrass Uber-Apparatchicks worked so hard against the official agenda of the Party?

      Take a guess: They were working for the OTHER agenda, the one favored by the banksters, oligarchs and filthy rich good for nothing who haven’t work a day in their entire life (there are ppl like that; I have a relative who cater to their needs as a wealth manager for one of the big banks; recently told me some stories…just WOW!) and intend to keep it that way.

      The whole article and its follow ups* are must read if one wants to have a good idea of what is coming at us in 2012.


      And here’s how in bed the Beltway pundits are with the Administration and every powerful in DC. Of course, they all attacked GG for telling it like it is.

      1. attempter

        Greenwald is very acutely aware of the R&D duopoly futility.

        That’s not actually his record. His characteristic move is to start with such an implicit analysis, but end up with the same old call for “Better Democrats!”

        Since the analysis already proves there’s no such thing as Better Democrats, it follows that he’s at least objectively just another standard Democrat shill.

        Sure enough:

        However, the legal and administrative obstacles BOTH parties have erected against a potential 3rd party that would challenge said duopoly are extraordinary and numerous.

        That is why Glenn founded the Accountability Now project who are trying to locate and promote REAL progressives for whom civil rights and justice are more than empty words.

        Profiles in courage.

        Greenwald, paraphrased: “I have proven there’s no such thing as better Democrats. I’ve proven that for progressives to pre-emptively surrender is nothing but contemptible suicide. But I also say we must pre-emptively surrender in the face of the entrenched system. I too see no choice but to cave in where it comes to the duopoly. So I’m left with no choice but to call for the thing I already proved is impossible: Better Democrats. And in the end I summon progressives to continue to do the same thing I already established is suicidal: Pre-emptive surrender.”

        Speaking generally, on any issue outside his core civil liberties/war competence (where, I agree, he’s excellent), Greenwald’s characteristic pattern is to start out with what’s often a true analysis that starts getting at the heart of the matter, but then regress to process liberalism.

        Maybe the best example was his take on the health racket bailout, where he started out correctly looking at it as a radical extension of corporatism, but literally within hours regressed to saying “I’m not saying the bill should be rejected. Maybe in itself it’s still marginally better than the status quo!”

        One more from Greenwald:

        “No matter what happens, no matter how futile the system looks, under no circumstances should you consider rejecting it completely in favor of anarchism or some other form of socialism. And most of all never even think of true democracy.

        Under no circumstances should you reject what’s already proven not to work in favor of the only thing that can possibly work.”

        I summed up my take on Greenwald in this post:

        1. JTFaraday

          I’m inclined to agree that the effort to elect “better Democrats” is not going to be effective.

          However, most D-Party faithful are so deep in the “lesser of two evils” mindset that having people like Greenwald and Hamsher doggedly giving blow by blow descriptions of actual policy betrayals in Congress, summing them up later and republishing them, is an entirely *necessary* stage in the pursuit of *any* kind of change in popular politics at the national level.

          Skepticism is probably the right attitude to take to them but pre-determining what they, or the people who read them, are going to do before they do it is not skepticism. And believing NO change is possible is also not skepticism.

          Meanwhile they serve a useful purpose. Unless you doubt me about how deep in the mind control cult a lot of D-Party partisans really are. Of course, those who vote D for cultural reasons may be impervious to policy analysis–there are a lot of these–but at some point the policy may start to take a chunk out of even their butts.

          1. ScottS

            Why not take a lesson from our oligarchic overlords and pit the two parties against each other to compete for our votes?

            Unfortunately, all evidence points to the fact that we have been expressing disappointment with both parties all the way back to the country’s founding, and so far, no good.

  4. Foppe

    From the FT article about the IMF’s ‘rethinking’ of capital controls:

    The IMF’s framework says countries that are able to should first let their exchange rate appreciate or respond to capital inflows with looser monetary and tighter fiscal policy.
    If that is not possible it urges countries to first use controls that do not discriminate between foreign and domestic investors. For example, it suggests limits on foreign currency borrowing by local banks or minimum holding periods.

    I.e., countries have no right to prefer domestic investors over foreign ones; foreign investors have a right to profit.
    Such a wonderful organization. And their response a mere thirteen years after the Asian crisis, too.

  5. Max424

    “Why don’t we elect a horse so there’s no pretense as to what is really going on?”

    I would not be in favor of this (a modern Incitatus Plan?). I don’t play the horses (foolishness), but good a friend of mine does, and he says, “Show me a lock in the 5th, and I’ll show you a broken dream.”

    Besides, the horse is not even native fauna; in other words, the horse is un-American! So I must ask, Yves, where is the, ah hem, Patriotic Spirit?

    How ’bout we elect a rattler? Seriously, the noble rattlesnake! It’s native fauna, hell, it’s the damn north AMERICAN rattlesnake! Also in the rattler’s favor: it’s hard to attach pretense to a creature that crawls on its belly…AND issues dire warnings before it strikes.

    At least I think it does. I would hate to think the rattler strikes; then issues the dire warnings –the rattler’s tale does a noisy victory dance only after the devious creature has introduced the deadly poison into your blood stream.

    That would mean the noble rattlesnake was no more noble than the ignoble Goldman Sachs.

    On second thought; forget horses and rattlers; on third thought; how ’bout we elect a member of the True Global Menace, a rat? It’s cliche, I know, but…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If you talk to bats, you will learn their young watch a cartoon called Manbat – a bat that dresses like a man to fight other evil bats – every Saturday.

      As for mice, they adore Mickey Man and his gal, Minnie.

      Of course, the spiders think Manspider is the greatest, more powerful than even Manbat.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I forgot to mention the wonderful story of a flute-playing snake who charmed all the human pests out of a lair of reneging snakes.

      2. Stelios Thoeharidis

        The reference, as far as I can tell, is to ‘horse and sparrow’ economics. As a alternative to the euphemistic ‘trickle down economics’, well unless that trickle you are feeling is someone taking a whiz. Of course, trickle down was promulgated before the R. Kelly incident. You feed the horse the hay and the the sparrow gets to pick through its excrement to eat. Which is basically the appropriate narrative as conservatives continue to believe a) the lie that our wealthy don’t have the lowest effective tax rates ala capital gains b) that corporations already don’t have the lowest effective tax rates due to loopholes in the system, and c) that lowering their taxes and corporate taxes even further is going to stimulate economic growth.

        US Uncut is attempting to create a broad coalition against corporate tax avoidance, it is a good start. The capital gains problem has to be taken on as well, particularly in the case of PE managers.

  6. wunsacon

    >> Aidan, the eight-year-old, … Police have been called to his school in Lakewood on at least two occasions. (They managed to talk him down without resorting to pepper spray.) This particular outburst may have been more intense, however. According to the report, Aidan “was climbing the cart and spitting at teachers. He also broke wood trim off the walls and was trying to stab teachers with it.” “I wanted to make something sharp if they came out because I was so mad at them,” Aidan said. “I was going to try to whack them with it.”

    Wow. That’s quite an 8-year-old.

    1. BondsOfSteel

      I can only imagine what kinda 18-year old he’s going to grow into. This was the 3rd time the cops had to be called!

  7. Jim

    “UK to Pressure US on Treatment of British Citizen Bradley Manning”

    This is REALLLY hard to believe that UK?? is standing up for the treatment of Bradley Manning. The UK government is full of a bunch of barbarians when it comes to humane treatment of it’s people.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Isn’t there a movie called “Spain (or Portugal) On the Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown?”

  9. Tertium Squid

    On those who need no sleep:

    “My long-term goal is to someday learn enough so we can manipulate the sleep pathways without damaging our health,” says human geneticist Ying-Hui Fu at the University of California-San Francisco. “Everybody can use more waking hours, even if you just watch movies.”

    WHY? This is a malignant, creeping sickness in our society – the idea that other people are getting ahead while we waste our time sleeping. Yves says it herself – this is about competition, law of the jungle, nature red in tooth and claw and it’s the monkey that’s snoozing that gets eaten.

    Is that the world we want? Everyone racing like they are being chased and never slowing down for a minute? The article talks a lot about the no-sleep-needing high achievers and how awesome their lives are. As if SLEEP is the only thing that differentiates the productive and dynamic “them” from the shameful and pitiful “us”

    Why hold them as the exemplars? Why idealize how they live? If everyone fills their lives with ceaseless activity, no one will ever think.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I used to react like you, but after reading Russell’s In Praise of Idleness, I am much calmer about things like this right now.

      In fact, I am so relaxed, I can’t even find the energy to read that book again.

    2. chad

      To play Devil’s advocate, what’s so great about sleep? To me, it’s pretty boring but a necessity because we need rest. If I only needed half as much rest as I do now I’d sleep only half as much.

  10. Cynthia

    Bruce Krasting of Zero Hedge makes the case, as others have as well, that Paul Ryan’s plan to “voucherize” Medicare not only pushes Medicare debt far off into the future, it also can’t get Medicare back into the black unless the unemployment rate plunges to 2.8%:

    But the last time the unemployment rate was that low was in 1953, during the post-war boom. And perhaps not coincidentally, the top tax bracket back then was 91%.

    In the last 40 years, the unemployment rate has never dipped below 4%. In fact, if it ever actually did get so low, it would raise a whole different set of problems that would need to be addressed.

    If the folks at the Heritage Foundation are going to make up numbers to give some degree of creditability to Ryan’s plan, can’t they at least make some numbers up that have at least some semblance of reality? No, because they, like all Ayn Rand-worshipping libertarians, including the likes of Paul Ryan, are hopelessly stuck in a fantasy world that is completely cut off from reality.

    1. Anonymous Jones

      Yawn. Wake me when Paul Ryan and the Heritage Foundation do something that is *inconsistent* with everything else they’ve ever done.

    2. wunsacon

      “DeDude” on Ritholtz also had this to say:

      DeDude Says:
      April 6th, 2011 at 12:50 pm

      Most of these spending cuts are not cuts in spending but simply a shift of responsibilities from the federal government to the state governments. The states will then have to reduce benefits and increase taxes to fund these “cuts” in federal spending. The fact that expenses for helping the poor, sick and children are shifted from a progressive federal tax system to a regressive state tax system will ensure that not only the poor but also the middle class will be shafted. Pathetically enough they are not even trying to use the savings to fix the national debt, most will go straight into the pockets of rich corporations and rich individuals with another round of irresponsible cut of federal tax rates for high income earners. As if we needed the investor class to have even more money to use to speculate in commodities and drive up prices for the things regular people need.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The true, innnermost circle super-elite are the only ones who can afford lots of sleep.

      They get up in the morning (or early afternoon, I am not privty to that knowledge), punch a few keystrokes on the keyboard to create just enough grocery money ex-nihilo.

      Then they go back to bed.

      The sleepless elite are a few rungs below.

      1. Externality

        This was actually not about sleep. The article discusses the horrible unemployment/underemployment for average Americans, the corruption and lies that permeate every institution of American society, and the ridiculous profits being made on Wall Street.

        From the article:

        US economy comeback, false advertisement


        Wall Street’s hedge funds are having a field day. The New York Times reports that wealth among executives in that part of the financial labyrinth is so concentrated that 25 hedge fund managers “pocketed a total of $22.07 billion. At $50,000 a year, it would take the salaries of 441,000 Americans to match the sum.”

        Who is speaking out against this? With bi-partisan silence on the issue, it seems the Beltway is more than comfortable with the current situation.

        Wall Street is stronger than ever. Its “reforms” are proving to be a joke. No big executives who profited from pervasive mortgage fraud have gone to jail as prosecutions dwindle.


        So far protests by hundreds of thousands in Britain have not dented much less changed the government’s cutbacks in the name of austerity. Serious critics may have the facts on their side but are still being marginalised, pushing nuanced discourse out of the mainstream.

  11. C8H11NO2

    Re: The Sleepless Elite

    from the article: “My long-term goal is to someday learn enough so we can manipulate the sleep pathways without damaging our health,” says human geneticist Ying-Hui Fu at the University of California-San Francisco. “Everybody can use more waking hours, even if you just watch movies.”

    Sheer f*cking madness.

    So according to this idiot, anything is better than sleep, even if you spend those 6 to 10 hours watching reruns of Caddyshack, This Is Spinal Tap, The Jerk, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, followed by Dumb and Dumber, etc

    But….and the following applies not only to television but to the project of the eliminating sleep as well:

    “Consider that the experience of television violates innate biological rhythms programmed into the genetic homeostatic constitution from the earliest evolutionary eras. These biological rhythms are invisible, yet nevertheless are information in terms of the experience of the brain. The most obvious and perhaps least recognized rhythm is the day / night, light / dark flicker. The experience is a constant input of information for the brain, effecting change without consent or awareness. Note also recent experiments indicating that in all animal species gonadal activity is increased by light rays reaching the retina. . . . As is the case for other biological cycles, interference with the natural cycles of light exposure can result in physiological disturbances. . . . Until the last century, man lived in the dark for long hours during the winter months, and this is still true in many primitive societies. Modern man, in contrast, was exposed to bright light for sixteen hours a day throughout the year. In view of the fact that light rays can affect hormonal activities, and that many, if not most physiological functions are linked to circadian and seasonal cycles, it seems possible that this change in the ways of life had long range consequences for the human species.”

    quotes from

    John Brockman, “By the Late John Brockman”

    Jerry Mander “Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television.”

  12. Fifi

    “The impotence of the loyal partisan voter” has a solution. It’s called a primary challenge.

    1. attempter

      Yup, that’s one way to maintain the impotent loyal partisan voter while letting him pretend to himself he’s doing something.

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