Links 6/15/11

Social spiders share hunt spoils BBC

Climate Change You Can See Mother Jones (hat tip reader Francois T)

Opponents of Greek austerity plan set strike, protest Reuters (hat tip reader jumpjet)

Greek Unions Stage 24-Hour Strike Against Austerity, Asset Sales Bloomberg

Small Banks, Big Banks, Giant Differences Robert G. Wilmers, Bloomberg, I’m a day late to this. MM&T is a really good bank and Wilmers pays himself modestly for a CEO (I say “pays himself” because CEO have lots of means for stacking the deck in favor of their own pay)

U.S. Chamber’s Tom Donohue Tells Atlanta Rotary How Business Is Faring In D.C. SaportaReport hat tip reader Amit). The early part is a snore but be sure to look at the last few paragraphs

I Ruined the Economy and All I Got Were These Lousy Tax Cuts Dave Dayen, American Prospect (hat tip Paul Krugman)

Barack Obama: there are days when I say one term is enough Telegraph (hat tip Ed Harrison). Don’t get me hopeful.

We Have Been Ruled By Really Stupid People Atrios

Gross and Rosenberg: QE3 will see interest rate caps Ed Harrison

This Land Is Your Land: A Conversation with Hernando de Soto World Policy Journal (hat tip reader freude bud)

Kash Mansori: Has the Bad Housing Market Reduced Labor Mobility? Mark Thoma

Wal-Mart Workers Try the Nonunion Route New York Times

Lawyers Settle… for Temp Jobs Wall Street Journal. This will create a lot of buzz in the blogopshere. The horror of law school grads in temp work at $40,000 to $50,000. This is partly a symptom of the growth of graduate programs and more people getting advanced degrees as a way to get an advantage in the employment market, when if everyone does that, the relative advantage is gone (obviously it has not gone quite that far, but you get the drift. Read Jamie Galbraith The Predator State for a long form discussion).

Visionaries need not be mad, but it helps Luke Johnson, Financial Times

The Epidemic of Mental Illness: Why? Marcia Angell, New York Review of Books (hat tip reader freude bud). Today’s must read.

Antidote du jour:

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    1. Afternoon Moon Eclipse

      Our Coal Epoch has just gone into overtime. Tell me something! When you see A Corny Kansasonian Grain Elevator explode into 44 farms, what set off the explosion? Aha! Grain Dust was the culprit. If grain dust explodes as instantaneously as diesel fuel in a compression chamber, why not a grain-dust-diesel? Better yet, a coal-dust-diesel? Better still, a coke-dust-diesel? Use the cooked off naphthalene from coal for more expensive purposes then use the coke by-product from cook-off for your coke dust prime-mover? Will your next Harley have a 44-1 compression ratio coke diesel?

      Sit back and imagine the sweet sound of diesel-ping coming from your hog! Without the extra weight of a catalytic converter you have higher power to weight ratio. With just a twist of the wrist when the light turns green you got the cooolest machine leaving the intersection — leaving everyone else far behind.








  1. attempter

    Re lawyers:

    “First they came for the workers, but I wasn’t a mere worker, so I didn’t care…”

    The increasing liquidation of professionals ought to shake things up. It’s about time.

    1. DownSouth

      One of the most extreme real world examples of this is to be found in Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem. The Jewish leadership cooperated with the Nazis in liquidating the lower-class Jews, thinking their cooperation would buy them salvation. But in many cases, after the Jewish leadership had helped round up and load their fellow Jews onto the box cars, they themselves were the last ones to be loaded and sent to the extermination camps.

      This is but one example of why Martin Luther King said that it is as much an obligation not to cooperate with evil as it is to do no evil.

    2. ambrit

      What ever happened to the idea of using American Professionals as an export commodity?
      Also, (and I’m leaving myself wide open to attack here,) it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch, could it. An anecdote to back my assertion up with. When I was at University, (in a Poison Ivy college,) our ‘Floor Manager’ (RA just didn’t cut it,) had a girlfriend in Law School. One day she comes over, in tears. It seems, one of the ‘bright boys’ in her study group had given the rest of the group severely corrupted class notes for one of the more important courses. (They used that old standby of swapping class notes so as to cover much more territory without the attendant wear and tear of actual running around frantically between classes.) The resultant abysmal grades from the rest of the group had signifigantly brought up his class standing. Someone may say this behaviour is pragmatic. As a general rule for any society though, its implementation on a wide scale spells disaster. Ethics, after all, were developed to guide and moderate social relationships.
      On another note, with economic power coming more and more to centre stage in our society, this dispossesion of the legal class shows quite clearly the bankruptcy of Meritocracy. “Money talks. Lawyers walk.”

      1. JustMe

        But it’s the kids who were screwed with the fake notes – rather than the jackass – who are most likely to end up in the temp jobs. The jackass is probably a full associate somewhere, making all the temp lawyers lives miserable.

        The degradation of the practice of law, which like the rest of society has been a decades-long project, is just another symbol of what kind of country we’ve become and how our elite operate. It’s simply expanding the labor exploitation practices further and further into our society. And, yes, it is a matter of lawyers thinking they’re different from blue collar workers and finding out they aren’t. Although part of the reason for that is that the lawyers at the top of the profession have decided to adopt their clients’ “values”. In the last big downturn in the early 1990s, all lawyers got hit – law firms and partners shed attorneys, but they also reduced their own profits to help minimize the damage. A recent article in the National Law Journal pointed out that this time while the lower level lawyers have been crushed, firm profits and partner draws have not gone down. They’ve learned from their clients to manage bad times simply by screwing employees.

        Frankly, non-partner lawyers should unionize, IMO. But to do that, they have to see themselves as “workers” (which they are, but have been taught otherwise although I suspect they are currently being taught new lessons in that regard).

      2. marian

        One thing I have never understood: if we outsource labor and production so corporations don’t have to pay the premium US workers charge (and the costs of US regulation), why aren’t we outsourcing management for the same reason? US management premiums are huge compared to the rest of the world and you can’t convince me US managers are better. You could find a German, Indian, Japanese executive at the fraction of the cost of the domestic product. I don’t get it.

        1. Abelenkpe

          Once worked for a studio that first outsourced ink and paint then outsourced animation then outsourced storyboarding and direction leaving only managers and VPs. Now the whole studio is gone. Eventually they do do themselves in.

        2. attempter

          Because the whole premise of the kleptocracy is the enrichment and empowerment of this “management”, history’s worst and most worthless criminals.

          They’re not going to outsource/outexistence themselves; only the people can choose to do that.

          But will the people ever learn that we can rule ourselves and run the economy ourselves and need no “managers”, no “elites” whatsoever? It doesn’t look good. Even the comment threads here seem to be backsliding on the question. By now I really think most people want to be tyrannized. In that case, they’ll get what they deserve.

          1. Billions for me, None for you

            Employee is a polite term for slave. And slaves need slave drivers a.k.a. managers. That’s been true ever since slaves existed. Can we outsource the slave drivers? Sure. We just haven’t gotten around to it yet. They’re under the illusion they aren’t also slaves, and so we hate to pop it.

        3. Paul Tioxon

          Because the 400 billionaires can not hold onto power and wealth all by themselves. Someone needs to man the battle stations of oppression that allows them to dominate the key institutions of society. The cadre of management also blunts the direct view of power held by the most powerful. Like those wishing a lottery ticket will change their lives, many believe that if they get a degree and work hard, they will be promoted higher and higher and maybe, just maybe be the company CEO, or president of the USA. The truth is, in a nation of 320,000,000 million people, the fortune 5oo will never need more than 500 CEOs at anyone time, certainly not more a few during any 20 year period. At present, our social order is dominated by the top 20% who have key credentials, connections, skills and family backgrounds, all used to screen out those who will not commit themselves fully to the proposition that the world just works perfectly well as it is, for them of course.

      3. Goldstein

        Chin up, things are better now. These days, when your legal credentials don’t measure up, you’re not fated to a life of proofreading bumf in a flickering florescent-lit basement at $6.15 an hour. You can always get a challenging career in totalitarianism in today’s FBI. The FBI has now deployed an elite squad of fake bull-dykes to chill politically protected speech with provocation, entrapment, and unlawful surveillance.

        1. ambrit

          Sr Goldstein;
          (Related to the notorious Al Goldstein?) The pseudo-dyke in question avers that he was only ‘channeling’ his inner lesbian. BTW, if you want to look into sub-standard dykes, pop on down here to Nawlins. We have both varities.

      4. Doug Terpstra

        A lawyer and doctor out on a hike, suddenly encountered an aggressive bear. The lawyer immediately unfastened his pack, dropped it to the ground, and turned to run.

        Doctor: “You can’t outrun that bear!”

        Lawyer: “I don’t have to outrun the bear!”

        It’s the American economy in a nutshell: survial of the most selfish; no solidarity, no commonwealth, no shared sacrifice, no stewardship, no animal husbandry, just short-term, unenlightened self-interest. This is the inevitable, inexorable course empires: extreme concentration of wealth, the looting of the productive class, fragmentation of society, militarism and finally extreme elite overreach toppled on its own crumbled foundation.

      1. pillow

        There’s plenty of work for them in India. All you have to do is move to India, change your name to something Indian, and work for $3 an hour.

        Remember, they can’t outsource you if you move to India!

        1. Cedric Regula

          I recommend Bangalore. Plenty of programmers and network engineers there to keep you connected to “civilization”. The electricity even works now. Indoor plumbing too!

    3. pillow

      The increasing liquidation of professionals ought to shake things up.

      I doubt it. Lawyers are cowards. Most of them would sell their children and parents into slavery for a few rubles.

      Judges are robots ruling automatically in favor of the powerful.

      You must be thinking of lawyers and judges circa [some distant time in the past].

    1. rjs

      let me briefly tie two of your links together…

      in “Visionaries need not be mad, but it helps” we see that those on the cutting edge of innovation would often be judged as psycotic…yet in “The Epidemic of Mental Illness: Why?” we see that these best and brightest, often plagued by depression, are being drugged into normalcy…

      this does not bode well for the future of the species…

  2. Valissa

    re: Climate Change You Can See

    I have been learning about climate change since I was a kid interested in dinosaurs. The climate on the planet earth has always gone through periods of change. Climate change is the normal state of the earth, and the planet has been on a general warming trend since the last ice age about 20,000 years ago. The big question of course, is… how much do humans contribute to the “normal” (but very chaotic) climate change process? And how concerned do we really need to be about a few degree of increased temperatures? (the earth has been warmer than it is now before, and had more CO2). This is at present unknown, but serious evidence exists that humans have indeed contributed to climate change. This is NOT IN SERIOUS DISPUTE!

    The question is really… what can we do about that, if anything? So far all the proposed solutions I’ve seen have no credibility as to their ability to do anything at all about climate change except to start some kind of eco-financial bubble and hoping that will “save” the earth. There is NO SCIENCE that proves that humans can “fix” the climate of the planet or that humans even know what the “ideal” temp should be.

    I have to say I’m really tired of seeing links here about climate change which simply repeat known facts. What I would like to see is more thoughtful discussions of what, if anything, can be done about the human factor in climate change other than playing financial and power games, like cap & trade, the Chicago Climate Exchange, and using “climate change” as an excuse to head towards a world government of some kind (via the UN). A refocus on pollution might be helpful here, but that is so unglamorous and doesn’t lend itself to the same sort of propaganda narrative (from the point of the elites who are pushing climate change as a way to invest and get rich on it while holding the self-gratifying illusion that they are so nobly saving the planet).

    1. movetoanotherplanet

      There’s plenty to do about it, there’s no political will to do it. People have been fed propaganda by big oil to make them think it’s a hopeless situation.

      A crash program in renewables could make a serious dent in CO2 emissions. It would cost the US the same as it’s misadventures in Iraq, Afghanistan and now LIBYA have cost.

      And yet serious people fall down on the floor wailing “it can’t be done”. The US is no longer capable of accomplishing anything except bombing other countries.

      1. ambrit

        Dear movetoanotherplanet;
        I’ll take you up on your post apellation and steer you to “The Big Rain” where it is convincingly argued that an Apollo sized program could terraform Venus well within our species ‘use by date.’

          1. Cedric Regula

            I highly recommend reading the Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson, certainly as a budget conscious way of terraforming Mars. (if there is no one there to see a terraformed Mars, is Mars really NOT terraformed? But I’m the type of guy that thinks if Hollywood made war movies, we wouldn’t have a budget problem)

            It’s in the “hard sci-fi” genre, and got Hugo Awards and acclaims for realism and scientific plausibility.

            Unfortunately, it took two hundred years, and I think that timetable is kind of like we were all supposed to be in flying Jetson cars by now, but we are still patiently waiting.

            I’m also sorry to say that I found the book so incredibly boring that I couldn’t make it thru the first book in the series and had to rewatch the entire Star Wars series again just to get the bad feelings about space travel back out of my system.

            Apologies if this sounds negative.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I remember getting real excited about picking up a new word in the first book of that trilogoy – panmixia.

          3. Cedric Regula

            But we fully developed panmixia technology in the ’60s, and it only takes 7 minutes, on average.

          4. Valissa

            Cedric, of course I own the Mars trilogy :) Made my way through Red Mars, but it was a bit tedious. Started Green Mars and kept hoping it would get more interesting but finally lost interest. One of those series loved by the critics but not really a pleasure to read.

          5. skippy

            Tisk…Tisk…Red, Green and Blue were good enough…not *everything* has too core….your potato.

            Skippy…If you like a jaunty tale on terra firma, try “The Gone Away World” by Nick Harkaway. Wife bought it, she tried bless her heart, but is strangely apropos too these days. I identified with the doppelganger in the story…oops…said too much.

          6. ambrit

            My Dear Mz Valissa;
            I think I typed faster than my cortex processed. I believe the Big Rain concept was an article by Jerry Pournelle in the High Frontiers fact/fiction paperback ‘magazine’ series tried out a few years back.
            Apologies to one and all if my post suggested you go to an extant website. I’m still catching up to this golden new age. (Hint: When I went to University you programmed mainframes with punchcards. I even know what a Hollrith processor is.)
            Yes, I remember good oldfashioned ‘hard’ science fiction. As for the Colourful Mars series, I too had trouble with the flow of the narrative. Sort of Trollope meets Wells as it were. Anyone remember the L-5 movement? The Arcology development authority? Good heavens folks, look up Mars Direct. Now there’s a feasable program. Link that up to mining the asteriods with light jammers and you have a viable business model. (Just reread Heinleins “The Man Who Sold The Moon” to a roomfull of Kochs and Petersons and you’ll be set up in no time.)

      2. Valissa

        dear movetoanotherplanet (great handle, btw, something I’ve dreamed of doing since I was a kid), I am curious as to what level of science education you have. Do you have a science degree or have you studied the methodology of science, or History of Science or Philosophy of Science? Are you aware of the history of science fads or the fact that scientists have historically engaged in heavy verbal warfare when defending their pet theories? And that when big money gets involved, that can endanger science as well as benefit it?

        I believe in being a good steward of the planet earth and I care about the quality of the environment. However I get very suspicious when large sums of money and power games start getting involved in anything, especially science.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We shouldn’t be sending more junk into the bowels of space.

          Let’s keep all the toxic junk here on Gaia. It’s our ethical duty to the universe.

          1. Valissa

            Unfortunately most of our space junk never gets into outer space.

            Here is one solution… NASA Considers Shooting Space Junk With Lasers

            In the new study, the researchers suggest focusing a mid-powered laser through a telescope to shine on pieces of orbital debris that look like they’re on a collision course. … NASA scientists have suggested shooting space junk with lasers before. But earlier plans relied on military-class lasers that would either destroy an object altogether, or vaporize part of its surface and create little plasma plumes that would rocket the piece of litter away. Those lasers would be prohibitively expensive, the team says, not to mention make other space-faring nations nervous about what exactly that military-grade laser is pointing at.

            The laser to be used in the new system is the kind used for welding and cutting in car factories and other industrial processes. They’re commercially available for about $0.8 million. The rest of the system could cost between a few and a few tens of millions of dollars, depending on whether the researchers build it from scratch or modify an existing telescope, perhaps a telescope at the Air Force Maui Optical Station in Hawaii or at Mt. Stromlo in Australia.

          2. Internationale Raumstation

            collision course. … NASA scientists have suggested shooting space junk


            Zounds great! Do you think it would be more cost effective to simply train the giant squid to eat space junk when it falls into the ocean? Our Congress could then tax the giant squid with 1040 forms and build an income tax prison at Atlantis. Increased tax revenue could fund gigantic party conventions at Tijuana and on the Vegas Strip .

      3. Stelios Theoharidis

        The trick is recycling government revenues in an appropriate manner and keeping the grubby hands of the politicians away from it. A dedicated carbon tax that exlusively recycled money into a couple of programs would work beautifully and have us eco-efficient and energy independent in no time. Progressively peg the carbon tax to energy efficiency goals and renewable energy production targets. As we become more energy efficient tax goes up keeping the revenue stream at the same cost but continuing to cycle funds into higher efficiency and renewable energy production targets. Lending is provided in a competitive manner either through a public non-profit or public private hybrid institution and returns are recycled back into the fund. You basically wind up with this giant green fund, all that it is meant to do is recycle money into the efficiency and renewable energy projects. Anyone familiar with Jevons paradox will probably hear him from his grave eating crow. Finacial support is provided in the form of:

        -Low interest loans for large ESCO projects (industrial and commercial scale energy efficiency)
        -Low interest loans for community energy efficiency projects through special tax assessment districts and community development financial institutions
        -Low interest loans for large scale renewable energy projects based upon proven technologies
        -Low interest loans for small scale renewable energy projects through special tax assessment districts and community development financial institutions
        -Small proportionally debt/equity fund for research, development, demonstration, and venture funding of new technologies with rights to be sold back into the larger debt fund

        Also potentially target other resource efficiencies – water, raw materials, waste reduction etc. Target Developing countries when we enter into diminishing returns on efficiency investments.

        1. Valissa

          A truly wonderful list of great ideas. I sooooo wish! However, I think you stated it best “The trick is recycling government revenues in an appropriate manner and keeping the grubby hands of the politicians away from it.”

          Ain’t nevah gonna happen!

          This has to be a grassroots endeavor if you really want to bring change (the top-down approach is the money & power pit). Start small, start local, have positive results and you’ll gradually build a positive feedback loop which will attract positive attention. With any luck this will lead to a “tipping point” that brings a shift in cultural attitude which will in the end, effect the politics. That’s my unrealistic fantasy :)

    2. Jojo

      This may lead to a mini ice age like in the 17th century, thereby helping us solve our global warming pproblems for a while.
      Scientists predict rare ‘hibernation’ of sunspots
      Tue Jun 14, 5:38 pm ET

      WASHINGTON (AFP) – For years, scientists have been predicting the Sun would by around 2012 move into solar maximum, a period of intense flares and sunspot activity, but lately a curious calm has suggested quite the opposite.

      According to three studies released in the United States on Tuesday, experts believe the familiar sunspot cycle may be shutting down and heading toward a pattern of inactivity unseen since the 17th century.

      The signs include a missing jet stream, fading spots, and slower activity near the poles, said experts from the National Solar Observatory and Air Force Research Laboratory.

        1. Stelios Theoharidis

          Did you read that entire article or just take the snipet out of it that that you wanted.

          A study in the March 2010 issue of Geophysical Research Letters explored what effect an extended solar minimum might have, and found no more than a 0.3 Celsius dip by 2100 compared to normal solar fluctuations.

          “A new Maunder-type solar activity minimum cannot offset the global warming caused by human greenhouse gas emissions,” wrote authors Georg Feulner and Stefan Rahmstorf, noting that forecasts by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have found a range of 3.7 Celsius to 4.5 Celsius rise by this century’s end compared to the latter half of the 20th century.

          “Moreover, any offset of global warming due to a grand minimum of solar activity would be merely a temporary effect, since the distinct solar minima during the last millennium typically lasted for only several decades or a century at most.”

    3. Jim

      Well said, Valissa. My take on climate change is as follows. If normal forces will increase temperature by 10 degrees, and Cap and Trade / Carbon Tax will ensure that the average temp only increases by 9 degrees, is it worth it?

      I say no.

  3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Why do I want to see climate change?

    I believe the more people take advantage of ‘see the glaciers before they melt’ cruises, the faster they will…I mean glaciers, not people.

    I can’t tell you how Homo Non-So-Sapiens Not-So-Sapiens friends have told me that.

    It’s up there with ‘we need more education…legal or any other kind’

    1. Valissa

      “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
      – Marcel Proust

      “If you can not change the circumstances, change your perspective.” – Anonymous

      “Nothing endures but change” – Heraclitus

      “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.” — John Kenneth Galbraith

      “Power is the ability to define phenomena.” – Huey Newton, the cofounder of the Black Panther Party

        1. ambrit

          If the end timers, (I won’t call them Chiliasts,) are correct, we’ll get more change then we need.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I might have to consult with The Book of Change (I-Ching) about the coming change.

    2. ambrit

      My Good Sir;
      Paleoclimatologists have established that the global temperatures during the Age of the Dinosaurs was up to 20 degrees warmer than it is now. They did pretty good for a couple of hundred million years. We will adapt to whatever comes along, have no fear.

  4. EricTitus

    I’d rather have a 2-term Obama than a 1-term Bush/Romney/Santorum/Pawlenty. But it would be great if NC could highlight some local races of importance. Change is clearly not going to come from the top.

    1. Jim Haygood

      NOTA, Eric — NOTA [None Of The Above].

      To amend your statement — ‘Change is not going to come from the Depublicrat duopoly.’

  5. Ishmael

    re: temp lawyers.

    This points to the fact that there is a gross oversupply of lawyers brought into being by the increase in the number of law schools and expansion of existing ones. Grad programs like law and business are hugely profitable for universities because applicants are under the delusion that a law degree from podunk U is going to get them a job.

    It’s rather like getting an engineering degree from a backwater chinese college.

    I sincerely doubt there are very many grads from the top 20 law schools that are in the position of having to do temp work. A casual perusal of USNews reveals however that there are about 200 lawschools in the US. Which means that there are likely at least 100 more lawschools producing thousands of more lawyers every year than can be absorbed by the market and are graduating from programs/institutions with so little prestige that few employers are going to give them a first glance.

    Anyone who doesn’t make it into a top 10 or 20 program in any field is really just asking for trouble. Not that you can’t succeed if you fall out of that category, but your success in that case will likely be in spite of your education, rather than because of it.

    1. ambrit

      I’ll call you Ishmael;
      Prestiege is one leg of the tripod. Another of equal weight is networking. The old boy network, (sorry femarchs, it’s still male dominated so far,) is alive and well. Just trot on down to the local County Courthouse and hang out for a while. The third leg? Your actual skills set.

    2. Anonymous Jones

      “Not that you can’t succeed if you fall out of that category, but your success in that case will likely be in spite of your education, rather than because of it.”

      Very well said. Most of the successful PI attorneys who graduated from lower tier schools could have done without one day in law school. The only problem is that the cartel requires a law degree.

      Your statement is even more true of middle and lower tier business schools. Only the networking advantage of higher tier business schools exempts them. It’s shocking the amount of money and time wasted on non-top tier business schools. You come out substantially behind (in finances and experience) those who actually worked for the years that you were paying someone else to teach you mostly worthless information.

    3. bill

      My sister graduated law school from the university of wyoming at Laramie. She graduated youngest and second in her class. After graduation, she became city attorney for a good sized city, she is now city manager and grosses 150,000 per year in salt lake city. ( thats about 550,000 in non flyover country.) In addition to that income, she has been involved with resort development projects that have made her a multi millionaire. She recently turned down a position with one of our senators in D.C.because she feels her kids will have a better quality of life where they are. All of this from a “podunk” university.
      As a plus, she has ethics and morals, something they beat out of you rather quickly at a scummy ivy league law school.

  6. Jim

    “The Epidemic of Mental Illness: Why?”

    I’ll tell you a dirty little secret.

    Regarding the epidemic of mental illness. There is a very good reason for the spike over the last 25 years or so.

    It is due to the way research is done in governments. Governments are controlled by the special interests, such as Big Pharma. SPIN is used to turn a neurological illness into a psychological illness for example.

    When Big Pharma helps craft research, this accomplishes two things.

    First: it keeps people from getting disability benefits from the insurance company and obfuscates the true nature of the illness.

    Second: Doctors only follow the CDC(centers for disease control) website for diagnosing and treating disease. If it is a mental illness, then you bet there is a useless prescription drug for treating it.

    Big Pharma is glad to have as many customers as possible each buying a very expensive drug from them, while at the same time, hindering any real solutions into the root cause of your health problems.

    Since your neuro-immune disease is mis-labled as a psychological condition, effective research is not being done.

    You want good research? Extremely hard to come by. Try and find a research organization or university that is NOT influenced by Big Pharma in any way.

    PS: flouride is sometimes added to medications. Flouride caused flouridosis.

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Visionaries’ madness is like genetic mutation.

    We need both in this insane world – that’s what people believed in once and will again.

    1. Anonymous Jones

      We’re going to get both whether we need them or not!

      I noted on another thread (on a Bobby Fischer tangent) that to be thought sane, a man’s insanity must match the insanity of those around him. This rarely happens exactly, but happens enough for most to achieve a general determination of sanity. The outliers don’t match up enough with us, and we give them a general determination of insanity.

    2. Valissa

      Two very different books, both excellent. Especially recommend this one:

      “Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche” by Ethan Watters

      “Muses, Madmen, and Prophets: Rethinking the History, Science, and Meaning of Auditory Hallucination” by Daniel B. Smith

      FYI, the paperback version has a slightly different title:
      “Muses, Madmen, and Prophets: Hearing Voices and the Borders of Sanity”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There was a time, long ago, when native leaders, not knowing a word of English, and whose thoughts were not corrupted by the imperial tongue, spoke indigenous inspirations in native words to their own people.

        Nowadays, we have royal princesses, in perfect English, being interviewed as abused nurses on live TV.

  8. Jim Haygood

    I was tipped off last night that “it [yield pegging] worked on long bonds in the 40s as his speech indicates.” — Ed Harrison

    Indeed it did — in the context of a locked-down World War II command economy, in which ordinary investors had no recourse whatsoever to overseas investments offering a higher yield.

    Trying to repeat that long-ago experiment under conditions of capital mobility will produce very different results — namely, capital flight from the dollar and currency depreciation. Quite possibly this is what the central planners want. To his credit, Ed Harrison points out that there’s no free lunch.

    Not only did QE II produced an eye-popping commodity rally, but also CPI (with a lag) has now accelerated to 3.6% year on year growth. The Fedsters, using a flaky core PCE index with no real-world meaning, say ‘that don’t count.’

    But the fact is that QE III, Operation Twist II — whatever you want to call it — will send an already uncomfortable level of inflation screaming higher. You can print price increases, but you can’t print productivity.

    By any rational standard, these monetary machinations are criminal. Larcenists such as Bernanke belong in prison, where they can no longer prey on honest folks with their inflationary schemes of organized theft. Stay the hell out of New York, Bernank, or face pre-emptive citizens arrest by me and my posse.

    1. Cedric Regula

      yoy PPI came in over 7%. w/o food and gas, it was around 2.5%.

      I think PCE stands for Price of Chinese Exchange. Chinese prices are going up, but will put pressure on corporate margins first, then we’ll see if corporations can pass thru the input cost or not. So far it’s been difficult.

      The only good news is we haven’t heard the Bernank say the “deflation” word lately.

      I still don’t know what to think of Quantitative Twisting. Will it be fun the way Chubby Checker did it, or will it be like something they do in Gitmo?

      1. Cedric Regula

        Also, as far as capital flight goes, first you have to find somewhere in the world to fly to(and still has an empty roost-The national bird in Switzerland will be changed to the franc very soon)

        The cool places are finding they can tax foreign inflows. Of course in our wisdom, we don’t tax foreign holdings of treasuries, only US citizens pay taxes on them.So we’ll weaken the buck by flooding the world with them instead taxing the desirability of them. But making sense has nothing to do with it.

  9. Hugh

    “There are days when I say one term is enough.”

    Strange, everyday I say one term was too many. This is just campaign BS to convey the message that he is not in it for himself, but, and this is where a tear is supposed to come to every rube’s eye and send them looking for their checkbook to write his campaign a check, he’s doing it for us. In fact, he feels for every sap’s hardship: I spend “all my time thinking about this stuff because I’m talking to these folks every single day.”

    Yeah, right. The truth is at this junction, it doesn’t really matter who’s President, if the choices are between a Democrat and a Republican. The atmospherics would vary according to which party was in office but the substance would not. We would get a corporatist kleptocrat either way. But what is really repellent about Obama’s messaging here, and we have discussed this before, is this cynical attempt to get all of us who have been looted to sympathize and feel sorry for the looters.

    This is why I say it is important to look at these people as the financial terrorists and hardened criminals they are. They damage the lives of all of us, they steal from hundreds of millions of us, they throw out of work tens of millions. They kill, maim, and dispossess of their houses millions. All of these aren’t just crimes. They are great crimes. Our political and economic classes, of which Obama is the titular head, are as evil as evil gets. Their mediocrity and fake pleas for us to love our abusers are aggravating, not alleviating, factors. They are all exemplars of Hannah Arendt’s banality of evil. They go to work each day, work hard, and want the rest of us to appreciate them for what they do, but what they are doing is inflicting a slow-motion Holocaust on us. It is obscene that they want us to love them for it as well.

    1. Foppe

      You should really read David Harvey’s Cosmopolitanism and the Geographies of Freedom. I’m fairly sure you’d enjoy it. :) (parenthetically, one of the chapters is called “the banality of geographical evils”)

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Have a heart, Hugh; show a modicum of appreciation and gratitude. Obama’s noblesse oblige is a hard yoke and a heavy burden. Just look at his first-term “accomplishments”; Bush could never have aspired to such a record of “achievements”:

  10. Lloyd C. Bankster

    I was on the 12th hole at Sebonack (a 165 yard Par 3) when I got an SMS from “Bones” that we have a problem: DownSouth has showed up again! My team said they got rid of him, that they were about to get rid of the attempter and Hugh and that by no later than July 1st, NC would be purged of all radicals and under the control of pro-Bankster suckass pigs.

    As a result of this news, I hooked my tee shot into the bunker!

    Heads are gonna roll once I get back to HQ for a 4 PM meeting.

    1. ambrit

      Hey Bankster;
      You sound all worked up old man. Find one of the ‘right’ doctors playing on the course and hit him up for some Milltowns or something similar. Then, when you get back to the clubhouse, get that cute little oriental masseuse, (one of the Pho Doh sisters I think,) to walk up and down your back for awhile. You’ll still make your 4 o’clock and also not waste precious mid managerial resources on a fit os pique.
      Say hi to Rupert for me when you see him.

  11. Jojo

    “Barack Obama: there are days when I say one term is enough ”
    Maybe someone could start a petition to encourage him to bow out of the race and let a REAL Democrat run?

    I’m sure that Obama would be much happier with an office at a Wall Street bank, a nice expense account and plenty of time for a relaxing lunch after a morning round of golf.

    1. psychohistorian

      TV access used to be free. Once they got the hooks in good they stupidly thought why not charge for the brainwashing. It has worked until now but if the poor can’t afford to be brainwashed then what happens? Free TV again?

      Stay tuned….

      1. psychohistorian

        I suppose I should admit I haven’t watched TV in 20 some years….I must be one of those crazy ones.

        With apologies to Voltaire, Sanity, like history is a lie commonly agreed upon.

      2. PQS

        Free TV? No way.

        But maybe my cable bill will go down….Heh.

        I’m tickled to hear it because maybe this will be the final nail in Roger Ailes’ coffin of paranoia. What will he do when his audience can’t afford to watch his production? What will the Kochs do?

  12. Foppe

    As for the DeSoto article: Great, even more capitalism. There is a good reason he is so popular among the capitalists who “care” about 3rd-world development. Namely, that he’s trying to get everyone to hop onto the wealth-creation, compound growth forever bandwagon.
    If there’s one thing south americans and africans are not going to profit from, it’s from having a property rights system that is anchored in stone while the legal system is as sensitive to those in power as can be. Societies do not need to have property rights to have laws against theft etc., and can manage perfectly fine without this type of land ownership.

    1. Foppe

      Basically all you need for what De Soto worries about are use rights and use protections. But these things can be realized just fine without having property rights. “All you need” (and I say this while being fully aware of the fact that this is a pipe dream in reality) is a functioning legal system. Therefore, De Soto’s suggestion that it is ownership rights that matter is highly disingenuous, and very much something that benefits neoliberals.

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