Links 6/7/11

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War on the Internet IV: you are the network’s resilience Crikey (hat tip reader Crocodile Chuck)

Wikileaks: Children under care of Irish government ended up in brothels Irish Central (hat tip reader May S)

The 15-M Prepares for the Post-camping Era 15 May Revolution (hat tip Lambert Strether). A wikiparliament is coming!

The global fallout of a eurozone collapse Ken Rogoff, Financial Times. A good piece, but no mention of Mundell’s optimal currency area?

Atom watchdog chides bombing of Syrian site in ’07 Reuters (hat tip reader May S)

Israeli left-wing leader: IDF used ‘excessive force’ in Naksa Day protests Haaretz (hat tip reader May S)

The value-added content of trade: New insights for the US-China imbalance VoxEU

Austan Goolsbee Exit: Obama Advisor Leaves Behind Frustration, Political Dysfunction Huffington Post

Colbert or Goolsbee: Who’s the Clown? Institute for Public Accuracy

Geithner warns on light-touch oversight Financial Times versus Is US right about UK’s financial tragedy? Robert Peston (hat tip Richard Smith). Peston was way too polite. It takes a lot of nerve for US bank regulators to lecture their foreign colleagues. Did Geithner somehow miss that it was the US mortgage mess, amped up big time by credit default swaps and CDOs, that caused the crisis? It looks like his themes song is Je Ne Regrette Rien.

The fallacy of financial regulation: neglect of the shadow banking system Michael Pomerleano, Financial Times. Um, Richard Smith wrote about this a full year ago and kept on in in the context of Basel III (see here). And it somehow misses the obvious reason why no one is doing anything serious: it would take a ton of additional capital, as we discussed last August. Would be nice if these economists were faster out of the gate.

Not All Businessmen Are Smart, You Know James Kwak (hat tip reader Carol B)

From cautious optimism to caution Ed Harrison

Is Apparent US Conspiracy with Cisco about Wiretapping? Marcy Wheeler, FireDogLake (hat tip reader Externality)

Chart of the Day: The Death of Small Businesses Mother Jones (hat tip reader Carol B)

Financial Overhaul Is Mired in Detail and Dissent New York Times. What do they mean? This is going according to plan, which was to change as little as possible. The only people who are surprised are those who aren’t watching the men behind the curtains.

Decline and fall of the American empire Guardian (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Foppe

    Here’s a nice excoriation by Greenwald of the WaPo:

    The Washington Post Editors work in a city and live in a nation in which huge numbers of poor and minority residents are consigned to cages for petty and trivial transgressions of the criminal law — typically involving drugs — and pursuant to processes that are extremely tilted toward the State. Post Editors virtually never speak out against that, if they ever have. But that all changes — that indifference disappears — when political elites are targeted for prosecution, even for serious crimes. […]
    In some of these cases (Libby, Mubarak), the Post couches its defense of political elites in terms of concerns about the process while claiming they’re receptive to the possibility of punishment. In others (Edwards), the concerns they raise are not invalid. But whatever else is true, Post Editors are deeply and almost invariably disturbed when political elites are subjected to criminal accountability for their wrongful acts, but wholly indifferent — if not supportive — when ordinary Americans are mercilessly prosecuted for far less serious wrongdoing.

    1. ambrit

      Dear Foppe;
      Is the WaPo, (sounds like a concentration camp guard,) still owned by the Tiny Terror from Korea? If so, the bias towards elites is quite understandable. What could be more elite than a Crypto Christian Authoritarian Religious Cult? Arthur C Clarke has a fun anecdote about them in his “official’ autobiography.

      1. Externality

        You may be thinking of the Washington Times:

        The Washington Times is a daily broadsheet newspaper published in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. It was founded in 1982 by Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon, and until 2010 was owned by News World Communications, an international media conglomerate associated with the Unification Church which also owns newspapers in South Korea, Japan, and South America. The Times is known for presenting socially and politically conservative views.

        The Washington Post is owned by the publically-traded Washington Post Company (NYSE:WPO).

        [WPO] is a public company, trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WPO, and went public in 1971. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

        Apart from the family of the late Eugene Meyer, Berkshire Hathaway is also a substantial shareholder

    2. Wirtschaftswunderjahre zurückbringt

      elites are subjected to criminal accountability for their wrongful acts, but wholly indifferent — if not supportive — when ordinary Americans are mercilessly prosecuted for far less


      Do we need *affirmative prosecution*? Should we built income prisons? Will Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин buy lot of them from us?

  2. Carole Lindholm

    “Everyone has an anecdote from the war. In april a family from Mexico City visited Acapulco and went to eat at a restaurant. A bottle of whiskey suddenly appeared at their table. ‘That senor over there sent it’ said a waiter. A few minutes later the whiskey man asked the father for permission to dance with his daughter, aged fifteen. The father refused. ‘Listen carefully’ he said, ‘this young woman is mine.’ The family left the restaurant, returned to their hotel, packed their bags and headed home. An hour later their car was intercepted, their daughter kidnapped at gunpoint. The young woman has not been heard of since.”

    “There are an estimated 10,000 ‘disappeared’ in Mexico, men, women and children, taken by persons unknown, for reasons unknown, their whereabouts unknown, their relatives and friends living in perpetual anxiety.” – Michael McCaughan

    (from an article at Counterpunch entitled “The Most Dangerous Country in the World: Mexico’s Failed War on Drugs”)

    1. DownSouth

      Carole Lindholm,

      You might enjoy this video:

      Time to End War on Drugs?

      I believe that Richard Branson, however, is somewhat naïve. He seems to gullibly buy into the notion that the “War on Drugs” has to do with ameliorating drug usage.

      The reasons for the “War on Drugs” are probably manifold, but I would suggest a couple of the more prominent reasons are:

      1) Supplying a constant and ever-increasing prison population for America’s privatized, for profit prison industry.

      2) Maintaining economic, political and military supremacy in the United States’ “zone of influence” in Latin America. In other words, in the case of Mexico, it provides the pretense under which CIA and other spooks and quasi-military goons are sent into Mexico to make sure, with a great deal of violence, that Mexico stays on the neoliberal straight and narrow.

      To judge how “successful” the “War on Drugs” has been, and to understand why it is relentlessly pursued despite its abject failure, its success in these other areas would have to be assessed.

      1. Carole Lindholm

        DownSouth: “The reasons for the “War on Drugs” are probably manifold…[such as]….Supplying a constant and ever-increasing prison population for America’s privatized, for profit prison industry.”

        I also believe the war on drugs has nothing to do with reducing drug use. If the war on drugs succeeded according to its’ stated goal and drug use was greatly reduced, then that would make it hard for the prison business to maintain growth.

        Prison lobbyists would then need to find something else they could criminalize, something to replace all those drug users with. Maybe they could persuade the government to declare all forms of body art and tattoos illegal, punishable by years of incarceration. Otherwise the prison lobby might have to apply for a government bailout.

        On the other hand, ever since Portugal decriminalized personal drug use, they’ve seen a drop in petty crime, so it seems to be working out pretty well for them:

        1. DownSouth


          Here’s an opinion piece that appeared in one of the Mexico City daily newspapers a few days ago:

          Drugs and Poverty

          One hears quite a lot about how, as the pay of US workers goes down, the pay of workers in the third world goes up. This is propaganda, pure fiction. In Mexico, for instance, between 1991 and 1998 the average salaried Mexican worker experienced a 26.6% drop in pay. Not only that, but the percentage of workers lucky enough to have salaried employment dropped from 73.9% of the workforce to 61.2% of the workforce. The impact of NAFTA on wages and income in Mexico

          Without the relief valve to the north I don’t know what would have happened to Mexico. The Mexican government estimates there are currently 11.8 million people born in Mexico now living in the United States. That’s 16% of Mexico’s working-age population, 33% of its working-age male population.

          Anyway, from the article (my translation):

          The current conditions in Mexico are the fatal product of neoliberal policies carried to the extreme: the application of economic prescriptions that mandated complete privatization, free markets, interventionism, internationalization of the national wealth in a grand global casino. Since the middle 80s that has been the only rule.


          They have succeeded in increasing from 5 to 22 million the number of Mexicans in extreme poverty, where “the only successful economy was narcotrafficking.”

          Dale Scott (in ‘American War Machine’) references documents from the U.S. Congress and Treasury that indicate that the banks of the neighbor country “are collectively the greatest beneficiaries of the trafficking of drugs,” with the byproduct the concentration of wealth in very few hands. It is a classic example of how the wealth of the rich produces poverty.

          In the real life of Mexicans, the ultraliberalization did not bring benefits, but heightened inequality, migration, dependency, alienation. And it unleashed a war that does not deserve to be called civil, but internal… “Today it is fully recognized that the CIA, like the intelligence services of the other major powers, has used the drug traffickers as a resource in virtually every continent,” says Scott.

          The actions and alliances in Mexico of American military, police and finance intelligence agencies have diversified; now there is an open presence of DEA, FBI, ICM, U.S. military and private mercenary forces like Blackwater…

          1. Carole Lindholm

            Thanks, DownSouth. So 22 million Mexicans in extreme poverty would be around one out of five, unless I’m mistaken. Unbelievable.

            At the moment I’m reading (actually re-reading) Joan Didion’s “Salvador”.

            In June 1982, Didion went to El Salvador to report on the political situation in a country whose government (right wing death squads and everything) the United States was supporting with economic and military aid, including training soldiers in its army. Then President Reagan said that the government of El Salvador was engaged in a civil war with Cuban-backed guerrillas.

            Anyway, here’s a couple of excerpts:

            “The dead and pieces of the dead turn up in El Salvador everywhere, every day, as taken for granted as in a nightmare, or a horror movie.”…..

            While visiting the body dumps, which, according to Didion “are seen in El Salvador as a kind of visitor’s must-do, difficult but worth the detour,” she saw a man teaching a woman to drive.

            Afterwards she reflected on this:

            “why a man and a woman might choose a well-known body dump for a driving lesson. This was one of a number of occasions […….] on which I came to understand, in a way I had not understood before, the exact mechanism of terror.”

            And finally, (but don’t read this if you’re having morning coffee or eating dinner):

            “There is a special kind of practical information that the visitor to El Salvador acquires immediately, the way visitors to other places acquire information about currency rates, the hours for the museums. In El Salvador, one learns that vultures go first for the soft tissue, for the eyes, for the exposed genitalia, the open mouth. One learns that an open mouth can be used to make a specific point, can be stuffed with something emblematic, stuffed, say, with a penis, or if the point has to do with land title, stuffed with some of the dirt in question. One learns that hair deteriorates less rapidly than flesh, that a skull surrounded by a perfect corona of hair is a not uncommon sight in the body dumps.”

            end of excerpts

            Which leads to the following question/observation: The “exact mechanism of terror” (referred to above) is a phenomenon that many Mexicans and South Americans are very familiar with from first-hand experience. But how many Americans or Europeans understand the first thing about this? Because it seems that in their description of the world both Friedmans (Milton as well as Thomas) managed to conveniently overlook that part of reality, like so many other norteamericanos.

        2. Shadow Inventory

          find something else they could criminalize, something to replace

          ~~Carole Lindholm~

          Sprechgesang, Blue Yodel, und, Der Rap

  3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Another way to measure trade deficit, using hypothetical numbers of course –

    When China exports $50,000 to the US, that supports 5 workers. And when the US exports $60,000 to China, that supports 1 worker. So, while China has a $10,000 trade deficit, it has a 4 worker trade surplus.

    Now, China actually exports more than that. So, her worker trade surplus is even more.

    This is my trade deficit measure in human terms.

  4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Zen Koan Du Jour –

    When a very slowly recovering economy runs into a brick wall, does it make a sound?

    1. Valissa

      “But there are situations where [one] needs great imaginative power, combined with disrespect for the traditional current of thought, to discover the obvious.”
      -Arthur Koestler

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It was the Zen master Rinzai who said, When you meet Buddha, kill him!

        1. Valissa

          From Wikipedia, on Rinzai School of Zen…

          “In general, the Rinzai school is known for the rigor and severity of its training.”

          Shudders! No wonder I wasn’t aware of the true source of that quote. The whole concept of rigorous Zen seems like an oxymoron to me, as in “the mind is nowhere to be found”.

          My temperament leans more towards crazy wisdom, with a generally playful attitude towards spirituality (Maya and Lila are good friends of mine).

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Here is something called Crazy Zen, in addition to the regular Zen…I know, I know, that sounds crazy. I haven’t been able to find out more though.

          2. Valissa

            Probably Alan Watt’s concept of Beat Zen would most fit as the the ‘crazy version’… Beat Zen refers to Chinese Zen, my personal favorite if I had to choose one.

            There is a wonderful Alan Watts essay from 1958 called, and I will share the first few paragraphs:

            “Beat Zen, square Zen, and Zen. (Zen Buddhism as practiced in China, Japan and the US).”

            It is as difficult for Anglo-Saxons as for the Japanese to absorb anything quite so Chinese as Zen. For though the word “Zen” is Japanese and though Japan is now its home, Zen Buddhism is the creation of T’ang dynasty China. I do not say this as a prelude to harping upon the incommunicable subtleties of alien cultures. The point is simply that people who feel a profound need to justify themselves have difficulty in understanding the viewpoints of those who do not, and the Chinese who created Zen were the same kind of people as Lao-tzu, who, centuries before, had said, “Those who justify themselves do not convince.” For the urge to make or prove oneself right has always jiggled the Chinese sense of the ludicrous, since as both Confucians and Taoists — however different these philosophies in other ways — they have invariably appreciated the man who can “come off it.” To Confucius it seemed much better to be human-hearted than righteous, and to the great Taoists, Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu, it was obvious that one could not be right without also being wrong, because the two were as inseparable as back and front. As Chuang-tzu said, “Those who would have good government without its correlative misrule, and right without its correlative wrong, do not understand the principles of the universe.”

            To Western ears such words may sound cynical, and the Confucian admiration of “reasonableness” and compromise may appear to be a weak-kneed lack of commitment to principle. Actually they reflect a marvelous understanding and respect for what we call the balance of nature, human and otherwise — a universal vision of life as the Tao or way of nature in which the good and the evil, the creative and the destructive, the wise and the foolish are the inseparable polarities of existence. “Tao,” said the Chung-yung, “is that from which one cannot depart. That from which one can depart is not the Tao.” Therefore wisdom did not consist in trying to wrest the good from the evil but in learning to “ride” them as a cork adapts itself to the crests and troughs of the waves. At the roots of Chinese life there is a trust in the good-and-evil of one’s own nature which is peculiarly foreign to those brought up with the chronic uneasy conscience of the Hebrew-Christian cultures. Yet it was always obvious to the Chinese that a man who mistrusts himself cannot even trust his mistrust, and must therefore be hopelessly confused.

            For rather different reasons, Japanese people tend to be as uneasy in themselves as Westerners, having a sense of social shame quite as acute as our more metaphysical sense of sin. This was especially true of the class most attracted to Zen, the samurai. Ruth Benedict, in that very uneven work Chrysanthemum and Sword, was, I think, perfectly correct in saying that the attraction of Zen to the samurai class was its power to get rid of an extremely awkward self-consciousness induced in the young. Part-and-parcel of this self-consciousness is the Japanese compulsion to compete with oneself — a compulsion which turns every craft and skill into a marathon of self-discipline.

          3. wb

            ‘A description for a crazy-wisdom person found in the scriptures is “He subdues whoever needs to be subdued and destroys whoever needs to be destroyed.” The idea here is that whatever your neurosis demands, when you relate with a crazy-wisdom person you get hit back with that. Crazy wisdom presents you with a mirror reflection. That is why Padmasambhava’s crazy wisdom is universal. Crazy wisdom knows no limitation and no logic regarding the form it takes.”

            Hope that helps ! :-)


          4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Thanks for the wiki link.

            I like Han-Shan and I like Mulla Nasrudin. His story of The Boat Man really hits the mark.

          5. Valissa

            The Boat Man – 2 variations

            From “The Sufis” by Idries Shah (pg 65-66)

            Nasrudin, ferrying a pedant across a piece of rough water, said something ungrammatical to him.

            “Have you ever studied grammar?” asked the scholar.
            “Then half your life has been wasted.”

            A few minutes later Nasrudin turns to the passenger. “Have you ever learned how to swim?
            “No. Why?”
            “Then all your life has been wasted – we are sinking!”

            A version at

            The mullah was earning his living by running a ferry across a lake. He was taking a pompous scholar to the other side. When asked if he had read Plato’s Republic, the Mullah replied, “Sir, I am a simple boatman. What would I do with Plato?” The scholar replied, “In that case half of your life’s been wasted.” The Mullah kept quite for a while and then said, “Sir, do you know how to swim.” “Of course not,” replied the professor, “I am a scholar. What would I do with swimming.” The Mullah replied, “In that case, all of your life’s been wasted. We’re sinking.”

          6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Thanks, Valissa.

            I have only read Sayed Shah’s version. I assume he’s related to the Prophet Mohammed.

          7. Valissa

            In regards to the Prophet Mohammed and Sufism… according to Idries Shah (or Sayed Shah, if you will), in his classic “The Sufis” (pg. vii):

            The Sufis are an ancient spiritual freemasonry whose origins have never been traced or dated; nor do they themselves take much interest in such researches, being content to point out the occurrence of their own way of thought in different regions and periods. Though commonly mistaken for a Moslem sect, the Sufis are at home in all religions… If the call Islam the “shell” of Sufism, this is because they believe Sufism to be the secret teaching within all religions. … the Prophet Mohammed himself said: “He who hears the voice of the Sufi people and does not say aamin [amen] is recorded in God’s presence as one of the heedless.” Numerous other traditions link him with the Sufis…”

            Wikipedia tells a somehwat different story about the origins of Sufism relative to Islam.

            However, since Sufism is considered by most to be the mystical core of Islam it is de rigueur to claim descent from Mohammed as a mantle of spiritual authority. Every spiritual tradition makes similar false claims of descent from more ancient authorities. Yawn… that shit never impresses me…

          8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I meant to say that ‘Sayed’ or ‘Sayyid’ is a title of a member of the Hashimites or Hashemites who are biologically related to the Prophet.

          9. wb

            Also, I forgot to say, it is indeed Viking, and I ought to compliment you on your remarkable visual perception, Valissa, because you are the first person ever in my life, out of x thousands, to have made that connection…

          1. Valissa

            OMG the pattern on many of your page links is a more highly stylized version of the pattern on a couple of my shot glasses, which I bought at the Moesgard Museum in Denmark (you will see the symbol on the upper left corner of the site, but I have never been able to find more detail about it).

            My understanding is that it was some sort of ancient viking symbol. Do you have more info on origin and history of that symbol? An official name would be helpful too!

          2. wb

            Aha, Valissa… yes, the original is carved into a stone, at a crossroads, maybe, with, if I can remember correctly, a runic inscription, that it represents a demon… I adapted it freely. More than that I do not know, I did the artwork 40 years ago and have lost the source.

            ( I take it to symbolize my personal demon, a powerful source of energy, innocent as snow, but must be handled with care so as not to get me into mischief, or worse… but like the big, dumb fellow in Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men… we cohabit happily most of the time, sometimes turning to Jung to mediate disputes…)

          3. wb

            ( whoops, these ‘reply’ tags are tricky, this should be here, I think )

            Also, I forgot to say, it is indeed Viking, and I ought to compliment you on your remarkable visual perception, Valissa, because you are the first person ever in my life, out of x thousands, to have made that connection…


            Thank you so much, I accept the compliment and the virtual cup of tea….

            Mmmm, most refreshing… Bodhidharma’s favourite :-)

            I follow Dogen Zenji, there’s a good little film about him, 33rd down, gives the taste and flavour of his teaching I think. Here :


        2. Valissa

          I didn’t look it up, but remembered it meant something like “master” or “guru” (Wikipedia clears it up as usual). Honorific titles that signify status/lineage don’t impress me so I tend to forget their origin… crazy wisdom attitude is rather rebellious that way. I can’t imagine Nasrudin himself would be all that impressed with someone’s lineage or title either ;)

  5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    From the pictures I have seen of the 15-M protestors, they seem to have avoided the one mistake of other peace protesters of the past – no flowers this time.

    I can’t stand the violence done to flowers in the name of peace.

  6. ambrit

    A very strange anecdote about linkages: I googled NC and spotted a link to Chomsky. That led me back to the posts for 23 Nov 2010. One of the comments anet described our gracious hostess as a wonderful economist, (or words to that effect.) La Belle Dame herself replies; “I an NOT an economist!” Well, well, a little bit of paper making you demure all of a sudden? Remember when the Reich was falling apart in 1945? Von Braun and the herrenvolk got all they could carry out of Peenemunde together and convoyed West, eventually ending up in New Mexico of all places! People would think that that was that, America would own the world due to its’ stranglehold on space coming soon. Not so fast Gospodin! The Russians, when they finally got to Z-Stoffheim carefully gathered up all the technicians and artisans involved with the rocket rackett. Lowly second stringers, who could expect anything from them? Well folks, seeing as they had actually built and flown the things, quite a lot. The rest is history.
    So, my dear Mz Smith, unless there’s a Wall Street version of Gitmo hiding somewhere, (the Channel Islands?), don’t be afraid to at least think “I’m an economist.” You have the skills set, and have actually done the work. Who better to show the herrenvolk all about the futility of pride. (I do believe the Classical Greeks called it Hubris.)
    Your humble and obedient servant.

  7. ep3

    Yves, I opened up the site today and got an advertisement for chase bank running at the bottom of the page. I know you have to pay the bills. But it just seems ironic.

    1. readerOfTeaLeaves

      I’m pretty sure those are Google ads, so Yves does not select them. They are probably serving them to you based on algorithms that include checking your cookies and other data.

      You and I and ten other users could all click on the same page, and all get served up different ads.

      I’m still trying to figure out why I get served up so many Goldman Sachs ads — ewwwww… (but I figure if they want to help underwrite the places that I visit, then hahahahaha ;-)

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      I view bank ads as much like the Republican ads that occasionally show up (as well as Democrat ones for unsavory characters, and most Dems are unsavory these days). If whoever is silly enough to buy ad space doesn’t recognize they are wasting there money here, who am I to stop them?

  8. tyaresun

    Is the raunchy antidote supposed to mean something? Never seen a butterfly orgy before.

  9. Paul Tioxon

    Cisco and Wiretapping.

    From Democracy now interview with James Bamford, author os “THE SHADOW FACTORY: THE ULTRA SECRET NSA FROM 9/11 TO THE EAVESDROPPING IN AMERICA”:

    “Then, in the late ’90s, things began to change, and fiber optics became a big thing for telecommunications. Fiber optics are cables in which the communications are transmitted, not electronically, but by photons, light signals. And that made life very difficult for NSA. It meant the communications, instead of being able to pick them up in a big dish, they were now being transmitted under the ocean in these cables. And the only way to get access to it would be to put a submarine down and try to tap into those cables. But that, from the people I’ve talked to, has not been very successful with fiber-optic cables. So the only other way to really do this is by making some kind of agreement with the telecom companies, so that NSA could actually basically cohabitate some of the telecom companies’ locations. And that’s what happened. NSA began making these agreements with AT&T and other companies, and that in order to get access to the actual cables, they had to build these secret rooms in these buildings.

    So what would happen would be the communications on the cables would come into the building, and then the cable would go to this thing called a splitter box, which was a box that had something that was similar to a prism, a glass prism. And the prism was shaped like a prism, and the light signals would come in, and they’d be split by the prism. And one copy of the light signal would go off to where it was supposed to be going in the telecom system, and the other half, this new cloned copy of the cables, would actually go one floor below to NSA’s secret room. So you had one copy of everything coming in and going to NSA’s secret room. And in the secret room was equipment by a private company called Narus, the very small company hardly anybody has ever heard of that created the hardware and the software to analyze these cables and then pick out the targets NSA is looking for and then forward the targeted communications onto NSA headquarters.

    AMY GOODMAN: So you have these companies, AT&T and Verizon, that are secretly working with the NSA and tapping Americans’ phone lines, and these companies actually outsource the actual tapping to some little-known foreign companies?

    JAMES BAMFORD: Yeah. There’s two major—or not major, they’re small companies, but they service the two major telecom companies. This company, Narus, which was founded in Israel and has large Israel connections, does the—basically the tapping of the communications on AT&T. And Verizon chose another company, ironically also founded in Israel and largely controlled by and developed by people in Israel called Verint.

    So these two companies specialize in what’s known as mass surveillance. Their literature—I read this literature from Verint, for example—is supposed to only go to intelligence agencies and so forth, and it says, “We specialize in mass surveillance,” and that’s what they do. They put these mass surveillance equipment in these facilities. So you have AT&T, for example, that, you know, considers it’s their job to get messages from one person to another, not tapping into messages, and you get the NSA that says, we want, you know, copies of all this. So that’s where these companies come in. These companies act as the intermediary basically between the telecom companies and the NSA.”

    1. ScottS

      The Empty Wheel wiretapping conspiracy theory on the Cisco article is bunk. I can install a packet sniffer on any off-the-shelf PC and co-locate it on the same network as a backbone provider, and get all the data going in either direction without having to involve Cisco’s management, firmware developers, Cisco’s customers, etc — just the handful of internet backbone providers who couldn’t care less if a few black boxes listened in on traffic at a few pinch points.

      It’s all about the whistleblower/antitrust angle. Given CSCO’s precipitous share price plummet over the last four months, I would just follow the money. An antitrust investigation is the last thing CSCO wants right now, and silencing the whisteblower is the easiest way to nip the thing in the bud.

    1. Umberto C.

      As the truth slowly trickles out of Japan, the comment trolls from back in March have egg on their faces. But they have long since disappeared.

      1. ScottS

        Radiation is good for you! Gives your skin a healthy glow! Bananas have radiation!

        Not buying it?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The drowning man was last heard shouting, You need water to live! Water is good for you!

  10. Philip Pilkington

    Jean-Claude Trichet: Idiot.

    “Ireland’s experience … clearly shows how policies geared to fiscal consolidation do not necessarily entail contractionary effects on real aggregate demand and economic activity. [I]in spite of the tightening policies undertaken, the rate of growth showed a significant increase in relation to previous years. [S]ignificant budget consolidation based on spending reduction enhanced the long term fiscal sustainability and increased the policy credibility of a more favourable tax regime.”

    Oh boy, oh boy. What a tard!

    1. JonClawed Treekay

      Like your Minister de Finance M. GEITHNER, je ne regrette rien. And, je ne suis pas tard. The little countries of Europe are taking a little austerity cure, and afterwards the EU will be the best in the world.

      1. Philip Pilkington

        An irate Frenchman? Well, I never!

        I’m Irish, dog.

        Now THAT’s a setup… too easy. Go on. Knock it out out of the park…

  11. Philip Pilkington

    Re: Larry Elliot’s decline and fall.

    For some bizarre reason, The Guardian economics editor has not heard of fiscal policy:

    “Macro-economic policy has proved less effective than normal. That’s not for want of trying, though. The US has had zero short-term interest rates for well over two years. It has had two big doses of quantitative easing, the second of which is now ending.”

    Conspicuous by its absence, no?

    Elliot ran a piece back in December ’08 entitled ‘Will Keynes save the world again?’:

    Don’t bother reading it but do a quick search for the word ‘fiscal’. Nothing turn up? In an article entitled ‘Will Keynes save the world again?’. Weird. (But then just read the rubbish he’s writing about QE — in an article about Keynes for Christsake!).

    Here’s a better headline: ‘Will The Guardian please get a new economics editor?’

    1. ScottS

      Right-wing wolves in leftist sheep’s clothing on both sides of the pond? If the financial regulators aren’t interested, perhaps we can get Wildlife Management on the case.

      1. Philip Pilkington

        I wouldn’t be so dramatic, the man is probably — like most economics editors — just incompetent and badly trained.

        But I will grant, incompetence does tend to correlate to right-wing political views most of time.

        Anyway, it’s no conspiracy. The Guardian just have to fire the bloke. He doesn’t keep with the editorial line. Nor is he competent. Kick his ass out.

    1. Philip Pilkington

      Best work yet, no?

      Did anyone listen to the interview Yves posted yesterday. Is it just me or did he pretty much say — without saying it, of course — that women were raped by power-mad hippies in the communes in the 60s and 70s, but that the interviewees wouldn’t say so on camera.

      Listen again, he says something like:

      “God! You should have heard some of the stuff that went on… you know that they wouldn’t say on camera… I mean some of it was really illegal… really patriarchal stuff by certain members of the group. I think a great deal of the modern feminist movement was born out of those communes.”


      1. Anonymous Jones

        Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait! Wait!!!!

        You’re conveying that they are implying that certain humans will use force or the threat of violence in order to get what they want, like the feeling of power or sexual conquest?

        Even in *communes* filled with anarchists and peace-lovers?

        This is impossible! This is totally contrary to human nature! You’re really pissing me off now! I don’t even know what to say! Absurdity! I am aghast! Where is my mommy? I want to be held!

  12. dearieme

    I thought the piece by James Kwak was remarkably dim. One of Keynes’s best points was about “animal spirits”. When businessmen lack same, it is wise not to argue that they are stupid or wrong, but to enquire why that should be. He seems to lack the inquisitive instinct, Mr Kwak; he knows better. Twerp.

  13. kevinearick

    I am passing along tools that will allow people to build their keys, to pass through the light-emitting glass. If you have already passed through, but found yet more “shape-shifters,” then you moved through the multiplexer to another dc track. That usually happens because you are expecting a crowd to physically greet you and turn when you don’t see them. It’s another dimension.

    Do not depend on the senses that the nexus has controlled since birth. Those that are successful will bump into others randomly, trying to avoid contact. The global nexus information system is specifically designed, through algebraic reduction, to identify these collisions and track the participants.

    As a result of the chase, the nexus has woven a rope around itself and is suffocating, while leaving a dye to make itself transparent, opening the curtain to the machine operators. The feminists are just a homogeneous class filter layer, controlling the men below them for the men above them, which they don’t see, and assume “control” because their interface is an entertaining machine, causing economic circulation to stop.

    In August, you will see plenty. The important thing is the learning curve of recognition, and its components. The upper middle class layer is about to go swoosh, and the herd is fully charged. Normally, the noose would just choke the females out, but this time is going to be a little different.

        1. Artaud the Schizo

          Join the club!

          “If I don’t know I don’t know, I think I know. If I don’t know I know I know, I think I don’t know.” – R. D. Laing

      1. kernel alive

        Would you guess that the 4 paragraphs were generated by a phrase substitution encryption program?

    1. kevinearick

      ad infinitum, or something like that …….

      funny, people working off a platform designed and built by others, so they can say any damn thing they want, in a world determined to end original thought, still find something to complain about.

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