Links 6/8/11

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Longline fishing killing seabirds BBC

Japan doubles Fukushima radiation leak estimate Guardian

A European Generation Takes to the Streets Der Spiegel (hat tip reader Peter J)

Going Rogue: NATO’s War Crimes in Libya FireDogLake (hat tip reader Carol B)

ECB President Trichet Praised Ireland as the Model for the EU to Follow William Black (hat tip Philip Pilkington)

Mexican drug gangs building own tanks as war intensifies McClatchy (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Fukushima meltdown could be template for nuclear terrorism, study says Christian Science Monitor. For real, or another excuse for further extensions of surveillance?

NJ Supremes deny press shield to online forum poster Daily Kos

Why can’t Obama get his own nominees approved? Salon

Margaret Thatcher to Sarah Palin: don’t bother dropping by Guardian (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

School superintendent requests school be turned into prison Holy Kaw (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Voodoo People Ed Harrison

The dismal science is bereft of good ideas Luke Johnson, Financial Times. Far more brutal than its headline.

Fake eviction notices? Seriously? Steve Benen (hat tip reader scraping_by)

CEO Tells Fed Chief New Rules Hurt Banks Wall Street Journal versus Dimon confronts Fed chief over banking regulations Financial Times. The FT account makes Dimon sound more intransigent, and given that I’m told by numerous people that he’s a hopeless bully, this is another example of US media distorting their reporting to favor the banks, albeit more subtly than in other cases. And since the NYTimes reported yesterday that Dodd Frank is being stonewalled and negotiated into nothingness, Dimon’s complaint demonstrated that the banks are going for total victory and not reasonable compromise

The Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin Gives Goldman a Rubdown Matt Taibbi (hat tip reader Barbara W). Good for Matt. I merely did a quick and dirty treatment of the dubious Sorkin article, Taibbi went to the trouble to torch it. His rhetoric is restrained by his standards, perhaps because the underlying facts are so bad that setting them forth in an unvarnished manner is devastating to the Goldman/Sorkin case.

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Paul Tioxon

    Lame Texan Analysis of Obama’s failure to acquire Senate approval for various and sundry positions. from Salon post.

    UofT San Antonio prof sets up the unprecedented 60 vote Senate majority standard, thrown down as gauntlet at Obama, the superhuman qualifications necessary to endure with saint like patience, an intrusive vetting process, before the Senate even gets to repeat the very same intrusive vetting process for public consumption, and then proceeds to notify us that Obama is personally responsible for the mess of a Nobel Laureate, among others, withdrawing from Fed Reserve duty, all because the president did not move quick enough{obstructionist tactics previously cited perhaps?} and failure to throw unprecedented public tantrums to overwhelm Senate republican tirades against un-democratic czars appointed at the whim of a power mad imperial president. Apparently Obama is outflanked by the serpent like wisdom of the republican parliamentarian procedure tacticians and refuses to get Harry Reid to change long standing Senate procedure to get his way. Of course, this will set off people like Yves Smith, who will see it as further proof that Obama is not fulfilling his campaign promises to channel Lenin, Trotsky and Rosa Luxemburg in his first 100 days of office. Finally, we are left with the managerial tautology that the president is ultimately responsible for all that goes on in his administration, excuses are no excuse for not getting the job done. Well said prof, I can I get tenure too?

    1. Valissa

      “Obama is not fulfilling his campaign promises to channel Lenin, Trotsky and Rosa Luxemburg in his first 100 days of office”

      That makes no sense, other than as political schtick. Actually Obama mentioned in speeches several times during his campaign that he admired Ronald Reagan as a presidential model. Although Obama spoke about hope and change he was very careful to avoid making lefty type promises. He often spoke of picking up the pace of teh Afghan war and made threatening statements about Pakistan early on. Both of these things he did deliver on. Despite all this, the Obamites projected their brand of liberalism onto him, played identity politics and were then ‘surprised’ Obama didn’t deliver (what he never really promised anyway).

      1. Charlie

        Baloney: Obama promised to close Gitmo, he promised to protect whistleblowers, he promised to change the direction of these wars with an eventual outcome, he promised to get rid of lobbyists, he promised us health care not corporate welfare…Obama has not delivered on the tone or content of any of his promises.

        1. Valissa

          A couple fo months before every presidential election Time or one of the MSM mags has had an article with a table showing campaign promises versus reality. Not surprisingly there is a very low correlation between the two for candidates from both parties. yet people still want to believe. I can’t understand anyone over 40 believing in campaign promises (but I DO understand attempting to vote for the perceived lesser of two evils, even though I’ve finally given up on that myself). When I was younger I stupidly believed campaign promises too. Politicians, in general, say what they think will get them elected… but typically fall in line with historical and financial trends.

          Obama took lots of money from lobbyists throughout the campaign via a back door, while he simultaneously said he wouldn’t take money from “registered lobbyists” (there were even a couple of MSM articles on this, though never front page). In reality Presidents barely determine national security direction (or the direction of much else), they just put their ‘face’ on what the CIA and military advisors cook up. Therefore closing Gitmo was never gonna happen either.

  2. Max424

    Hey, dumb bunny Mexican Drug Lords, remember this: for every weapon, there is an anti-weapon.

    American Libertarians understand this basic military axiom. Hell, the average Libertarian — up here — can destroy entire armored columns without breaking a sweat — now, imagine what he’d do to you.

    “Tanks?” Sheeet, before you got her (if you got her), my Grandma would knock-out dozens of your faux-tanks with a fire-and-forget Javelin and a loader (Grandpa?)

    Come on, dudes, get some real weapons. Seriously, it’s embarrassing how you roll down there.

    1. ambrit

      Dear Max;
      Come on Dude. Cut them some slack, they’ve obviously been watching too many Luchador flicks. Besides, this is all Mexican Drug Cartel domestic disputes equipment. (See what you get when you give out of control boys lots of money and guns?) And, looked at realistically, Grandma won’t ever get a chance to blow up any MDC hardware anyway. Someone has already won the “War on Drugs.” It isn’t us either.

  3. KFritz

    Re: Libya

    The rebels are ‘branded’ as “NATO” rebels early in the piece, and the label is a applied repeatedly throughout in the manner of a Karl Rove (or worse) talking point. So this has the hallmarks of a propaganda piece.

    A google search reveals a fair number of allegations that Gaddafi’s troops used rape in Misurata. A comparable search for the rebels shows one credible allegation from March, and a post at a right wing propaganda blog

    It will be interesting to see if there’s any corroboration for the FDL piece.

    1. KFritz

      To clarify: a google search on rape by Libyan rebels DOES yield several hits that link back to the Gilbert piece.

    2. ScottW

      The whole point of the article is the atrocities are not being covered by the press, so you will not find articles describing the atrocities. But, before dismissing this piece as propaganda because she used the term, “Nato rebels,” open your mind up to the possibility that the rebels are not a bunch of virtuous, loving, freedom fighting men who do no harm to their fellow citizens–even those who disagree with them. The author appears to have extensive historical experience in Libya, unlike the normal press hacks who wander into the Country, hook up with a rebel group, and report as experts on war.

      And if you don’t believe me, think back to all U.S. wars in which the initial descriptions provided by the press are of an absolute good guys v. bad guys scenario, only to be exposed as blatant lies when the war crimes committed by the U.S. and the regime it backs are exposed. We heard nothing of the secret bombing of Cambodia conducted for almost 2 years, even while Nixon was denying it. Does that mean it did not occur?

      There is no doubt that providing weapons to ill-trained “rebels” will ultimately lead to a blood bath against innocent people on all sides. Violence never solves any dispute, and only leads to more violence. The problem with most Americans is we cannot wrap our minds around the utter violence, destruction, and immorality of war because we never are forced to confront it. It always occurs in far away lands and is cleansed by the “free” press that tells us all that we need to know to conclude we are on the side of the virtuous, only killing those who deserve to die.

      Yes, these are “NATO rebels” because NATO is arming them, supporting their missions with extensive bombings. If we knew the absolute truth of what is going on in Libya in the name of freedom and regime change most Americans would be shocked and turn away. It is all too brutal for the psyche to digest.

      1. Anonymous Jones

        This is total obfuscation on your part of a few clear and unassailable truths:

        There are only good guys or bad guys.

        It is always obvious what is right.

        It is always obvious what is wrong.

        Good and bad are absolutes and do not depend upon perspective.

        Right and wrong are absolutes and do not depend upon perspective.

        Good guys never do anything wrong.

        Bad guys never do anything right.

        *Recant now, buddy, or the good guys gonna git ya.*

    3. Cynthia

      If NATO is arming the Libyan rebels, something which NATO doesn’t deny, then calling them “NATO” rebels can in no way be construed as propaganda, KFritz.

      1. KFritz

        If the rebels receive aid fr/ NATO, they become NATO’s property? NATO didn’t start the revolt, and the work on the ground isn’t being done @ its direction. There’s a government in Benghazi that doesn’t answer to NATO.

        The multiple use of the canard throughout the article is classic propaganda.

        1. Externality

          The US and NATO are responsible for the actions, including war crimes, of the Libyan rebels and the rebel government. Once NATO began aiding and offering air support to the rebels, it became responsible for any war crimes they may commit with its permission, knowledge, or support.

          After WW II, Allied war-crimes tribunals imprisoned and executed German officials and officers for atrocities committed by local groups or officials who acted at the behest of, with the acquiescence of, or with any amount assistance from, the Nazis. The Nazis were not, in other words, able to escape culpability for war crimes by outsourcing them to allies or allowing them to happen.

          Logic and reason dictate that the occupier could not lawfully do indirectly that which it could not do directly. The true facts must control irrespective of the form with which they may have been camouflaged. Even International Law will cut through form to find the facts to which its rules will be applied.

          According to the Allies, there was no difference between the Nazis directly killing groups unpopular in Croatia (Serbs, Roma, Byzantine-Rite Catholics, Jews, Eastern Orthodox) and the Nazis allowing the Croatian Ustasha militia to do so, often with Nazi-supplied weapons. (See for example, the so-called Hostages Trial.)

          Nor was it acceptable, the Allies decided, for the Nazis to rely on local pro-Nazi partisans to brutally suppress insurrections by pro-Soviet and nationalist partisans elsewhere in Eastern and Central Europe. (The nationalists often wanted the Germans and the Bolsheviks out.)

          Nor was possible, the Allies decided, for the Nazis to escape culpability for war crimes by outsourcing them puppet governments. A German official who used, for example, Vichy French officials to commit crimes against humanity was just as responsible as one who used, instead, an SS unit in the same city. (Vichy France may have retained de jure sovereignty, but its officials followed orders — or else.) Luftwaffe Field Marshal Erhard Milch, for example, tried and failed to escape responsibility for his actions by arguing that Vichy France and other occupied countries were not required to obey his requisitions for slave labor.

          The NATO politicians and officials responsible for the Libyan War should be referred to an international war crimes tribunal and forced to answer for the actions of the rebel militias that they are training, equipping, and providing air support to. NATO should not be allowed to outsource the pacification of Libya, and elimination of possible resistance to its hegemony, to shadowy militia groups.

          1. KFritz

            The legal analysis is flawless. However it (covertly) assumes that the rebels are guilty of significant war crimes, and (somehow) manages not to address Gaddafi’s alleged crimes, which allegations are numerous.

            Targeting NATO and the rebels in this matter (particularly in the propagandistic format of the FDL post) to discredit NATO’S backing of the rebels, is a red herring, rotting from the head.

          2. Externality

            The culpability of NATO officials and that of Ghadaffi are two unrelated issues, just as Stalin’s crimes do not excuse Hitler’s. The alleged crimes of both sides are separate issues that should be adjudicated separately.

            Invoking the tu quoque (“you too”) defense by pointing to the enemy’s misconduct is a common tactic by alleged war criminals:

            This argument has been unsuccessfully used before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in several cases when the accused tried to justify their crimes by insisting that the opposing side had also committed such crimes. However, the argument tu quoque, from the basis of international humanitarian law[,] is completely irrelevant, as the ICTY has stated in these cases. [citations]

            Historically, however, at the Nuremberg trial of Karl Dönitz[,] tu quoque was accepted not as a defense to the crime itself, or to the prosecution proceedings, but as a defense only to punishment.


          3. KFritz

            Thank you, your Honor. On behalf of NATO, I plead guilty without a trial. Or information. I accept the verdict of the Antinomian Court!

          4. Externality

            I should have said

            Invoking the tu quoque (“you too”) defense by pointing to the enemy’s misconduct is a common tactic by alleged war criminals and their apologists:

        2. Cynthia

          Just follow the money, KFritz, and then you’ll understand why we are waging war on Libya…

          This war on ours has little to do with humanitarian reasons and much to do with the US Dollar, gold reserves, and capturing yet another country’s natural resources – which were to be held in trust for the benefit of its people rather than for exploitation by multinationals based in the US and Europe. The humanitarian charade is a time tested propaganda piece that the US, Britain, and other NATO nations have used for decades to justify imperial resource grabs and massive population reductions in countries across Africa, the Middle East, and South-Central Asia. These resource wars cloaked in humanitarian clothes are belied by America’s utter double standard in places like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and other places where defense of “the people” is disregarded due to the military industrial complex or de facto control of a nations oil and mineral resources.

          When a president exceeds constitutional authority, and all Congress can do is say we must be committed now because we are now involved and “can’t turn our back on the troops now,” we have reached a new level in what can be termed ludicrous. All presidents know they will have Congressional backing in any conflict they get the US into, and each president is becoming bolder in involving the US in war, despite is economic decline at home. US policy makers merely feel they cannot be honest about their actions. They are serving the interests of a global empire and will kill and destroy anyone and anything that gets in their way to make it happen.

          1. KFritz

            The decision to back the rebels was led by Sarkozy’s France. The US came on board late in the day, spurred by the advance on Benghazi, and greenlighted by a (somewhat rigged) go-ahead fr/ the Arab League. If you’ve (conveniently) forgotten this, here are some links. (Thanks WWW! (-: )


            Here’s another little tidbit.


            US motives are hardly Simon pure. However, the reluctance to intervene displayed by Obama and Clinton was certainly motivated by a desire for stability–in the form of Gaddafi controlled Libya continuing to contribute oil to the global supply.

            Libya will be difficult to control. It has 30 billion or so of funds at its disposal when/if Gaddafi implodes. The Emir of Qatar is the foreign sovereign who first began extending credit to the ‘government’ in Benghazi. The governments ‘protecting’ Libya’s funds will be able to extract concessions using possession of the funds, but the Gulf potentates who’ve supported the NATO action, will exert pressure to release the money. The US and other NATO members stand to gain commercially, much more so than Russia or the PRC, though the Chinese recently sent a delegation to Benghazi.

            The choice between Gaddafi and an uncertain future is a devil’s dilemma. Most of the people of Libya seem to want Gaddafi gone. After 40 years, can they be blamed if they haven’t given great thought to what follows? Not nearly as much as ideologues can be blamed for condemning NATO’s intervention without considering what Libyans want.

        3. Cynthia

          Let me also remind you that Muslims don’t believe in usury. Gaddafi prints his own money ‘interest’ free, while US dollars are printed as debt owed by the American people.

          This supposed ‘madman’ has spent $25 billion on a water pipeline for the people of Libya, to pump fossil water from an ocean of fresh water deep below the desert. This will make Libya self sufficient in food, and it won’t have any need for expensive distillation plants that turn sea water into drinking water. The pipeline has taken 5 years build.

          Gaddafi, the supposed madman, has distributed his nation’s wealth to all the people of Libya. Their car and home purchases are subsidized; their medical care and education are free (even university courses overseas); and their gasoline is cheap and so is their food. But the people of the US and Europe must be kept in the dark about this. Otherwise, they’ll demand the same from their own government, and that would be disastrous for their plutocratic overlords.

          If you are a resource-rich country that doesn’t embrace usury, the Western powers are coming to rob your people of their natural resources, exploit them for cheap labor, and turn them into debt slaves, all for ‘humanitarian’ reasons of course. And as an added bonus, you get to rotate the inventory of all those bombs for your ever grateful weapons manufacturers.

          1. KFritz

            Kuwait gives its citizens a good deal. So do the Gulf potentates. Also Oman. Saudi Arabia did once upon a time until its religiously motivated opposition to birth control lowered its standard of living.

            Does Gaddafi’s mixed benevolence entitle him to blast Misurata to smithereens. He blasted Zawiyah to smithereens before the NATO intervention.

            Re Libya’s aquifer, see Ogalala aquifer

    4. KFritz

      None of the counter replies provide corroboration for the claims in the FDL article.

      My reply wasn’t written from the POV that the Libyan rebels are all eagle scouts. People fr/ Sub-Saharan Africa have been the target of ethnic harassment. I’ve been wondering for weeks why the armed rebels in the East haven’t attacked. Perhaps they’re doing their best work by tying down Gaddafi’s best troops. There have been targeted assassinations of former government operatives in Benghazi. The rebels are imperfect, to say the least of it. But the propagandistic tone of the article renders its information suspect, especially since it turns existing charges against Gaddafi forces against the rebels.

      Until perhaps 2 weeks ago, life in Misurata was a desperate affair for the people on the ground. It’s doubtful that the besieged would have had time or energy for what’s described in the FDL piece. If it happened, it’s likely recent.

  4. lambert strether

    Two points on Taibbi:

    1. “His rhetoric is restrained by his standards…” True, but misogynist rhetoric isn’t present, and that is greatly appreciated.

    2. That Blankfein committed perjury is important; Taibbi has all the pieces that could send him to jail, and I hope he keeps hammering that single argument, which is a bit lost in the reporting detail in the RS story. “We need to see Lloyd Blankfein in an orange jumpsuit doing the perp walk.” Perhaps with the word “BANKSTER” in big black letters on the back. There, Matt. There’s your lead ;-)

  5. Valissa

    Luke Johnson questioning the ‘utility’ of the economics profession… that’s priceless, LOL…

    The best move for the world’s economists would be to each start their own business. Then they would experience at first hand the challenges of capitalism on the front line. And for those who couldn’t cope with such a brave step, perhaps they could turn to philosophy, and teach us all how to lead more moral lives. I’m sure that would be more useful than what they do now.

  6. optimader

    “It is the first time plutonium thought to have originated from the complex has been detected in soil outside its grounds.

    However, Masayoshi Yamamoto, a professor at Kanazawa University, said the level of plutonium in the sample was lower than average levels observed in Japan after nuclear weapons tests conducted overseas.”

    I love the deflection! Lower levels than when nuclear fallout last swept over the island.. well that is, until the ground contamination is recalculated up later this month..

    Hey, small mercy apparently this slowmotion train wreck is not important enough to merit media exposure in our provincial media.

  7. Philip Pilkington

    From the FT article on economists:

    “The fact that most economics textbooks barely mention entrepreneurs – and when they do they miss the point – shows that most “dismal scientists” are out of touch and unversed in the real workings of marketplaces.”

    I’m getting the strong impression that this crisis is going to push many into the arms of people like Schumpeter and his Austrian School buddies.

    This trend is extremely worrying — because such things will only exacerbate the problems we have.

    People like this think that they’re casting off the shadows of their predecessors and embracing new and exciting ideas. They’re not. They’re still caught up in the same old dogmas and they don’t even realise it.

    If you mentioned to Johnson that the government should create jobs he’d probably just look at you and then say something about the Soviet Union. That’s because he’s still caught up in the old ways of thinking.

    I mean look at this:

    “Or take Paul Krugman, the Nobel laureate and Princeton professor who pontificates in the New York Times. His gloomy prognostications and obsession with slamming the Republicans mean he offers nothing by way of useful advice to those of us who actually run a business.”

    I have my problems with Krugman — I think he’s a bit too schoolmaster-ish. But he’s always offering policy advice. He’s been calling for larger deficits since the start of the crisis.

    Such deficits would prop up aggregate demand and would certainly help Johnson and his business buddies.

    1. Valissa

      “I’m getting the strong impression that this crisis is going to push many into the arms of people like Schumpeter and his Austrian School buddies.”

      This doesn’t make much sense to me as they are just another variation of voodoo people. It appears to me that Johnson is being anti-ideological in his article and is disputing economics as a whole not just the current favorite (highly trashed) sects.

        1. Valissa

          We were discussing one of the links above, by Luke Johnson, which is excellent… The dismal science is bereft of good ideas, @ Financial Times

  8. Tertium Squid

    “His rhetoric is restrained by his standards, perhaps because the underlying facts are so bad that setting them forth in an unvarnished manner is devastating to the Goldman/Sorkin case.”

    People miss that when they make arguments. You’ve heard the old legal axiom:

    If the law isn’t with you, argue the facts.
    If the facts aren’t with you, argue the law.
    If both law and facts are against you, pound the table and shout, “Injustice!”

    There are declinign returns for tactics like this. Different for someone like Taibbi perhaps, because he knows how to be funny.

        1. Anonymous Jones

          Yes, your point was excellent. Tactics matter.

          Of course, it is a bit more complex (I don’t mean that you should have written a book-length essay on rhetoric, just that I would like to add something).

          Sometimes one has to rant and rave to get attention, even though it turns off some who are skeptical of ranting and raving.

          In fact, as an example, I sometimes act, let’s say, more *perturbed* about an issue with an employee than I actually am. I do this because using harsh terms (and yes, even some bombast) tends to make something more memorable. This tactic of course has diminishing returns; so it is used more often early in an employee’s tenure and much less often as the relationship advances.

          It’s complicated and takes a lot of experience to fine tune any rhetorical technique. As always, one of the hallmark tenets of all communication is instructive: *Know your audience.*

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            In descending order of effectiveness in communication:

            1 Total empathy
            2 Vulcan mind meld
            3 by how one acts
            4 by what one says
            5 with words

            In fact, words often lie.

            When writing, avoid using words as oftne as possible.

    1. BondsOfSteel

      Wow. More evidence of a corporate police state.

      Student loans are the only loans (I know of) that can’t be dismissed in bankruptcy. You can even have your social security income garnished to pay them.

      This is one of the reasons for-profit-schools are growing so large.

  9. Valissa

    Your Tweetin’ Heart

    “This time, no feminist umbrage rang out — and not merely because Weiner is a liberal Democrat.”

    Predictably (and pathetically), the conservative gang is going after Weiner therefore liberals are in the awkward position of having to sort-of defend the indefensible.

    My compassion for him only goes to the extent of his being stuck with a last name like Weiner. I’m guessing grade school was hell and left scars. Psychoanalysts having a field day with this one, no doubt (esp. the Freudians!). Perhaps a surname change is in order.

        1. skippy

          Old colleague Richard Hertz, inter-comm system of the worlds leading OEM manufacturer, two buildings a mile apart.

          Paging ——-

          Skippy…hard to do serious work sometimes.

    1. craazyman

      This is being blown out of proporion.

      The congressman apparently kept his weiner between himself and his wife, where a righteous man’s weiner should be.

      So he sent a few emails. Well whatever. I just had a pizza and took the New York Post with me, but was too bored by the topic to even read their multi-page weiner roast — so I just stared out the window and started channeling. Much more interesting stuff.

      I guess we’ve reached a point in our society where thought itself is a crime.

    2. wondering

      How is what he did indefensible when drone attacks killing scores of people at a civilian wedding is perfect defensible?

    3. ambrit

      Mz Valissa;
      Firstly, what kind of world view allows a public figure to “expose’ himself in an obviously unsecure venue? The thinking, or I’d suggest lack thereof, underlying this ‘affair reproductif’ speaks volumes to the unconscious arrogance or cluelessness rampant within the political class.
      Secondly, I certainly hope that is a Kosher Weiner we’re talking about.

  10. Susan Truxes

    I guess I just have a problem with a TBTF bank sucking up a lot of tax-payer subsidies, some of which are not even acknowledged or clearly accounted for, then participating in a blatant PR stunt with Bernanke – just to create the appearance that the Federal Reserve System is functioning, which it is not unless you are willing to give it another 50 years; and all the while ignoring its own ongoing hopeless insolvency and denying it has a 100 billion fraud bill coming due… and oh yes, also its profiteering by “partnering” with the Pentagon on what is bound to be a giant misadventure in the gold mines of Afghanistan which will risk everything it no longer owns except bonuses.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Voodoo shamans bereft of ideas, sorry, good ideas?

    My suggestion is that to be 200 years ahead, for example, you should 200 years behind. Go back to the Horse Age and you will see the future.

    Ideas are cyclical. To be a visionary, all you have to do is go backwards in time.

    Furtheremore, life is asymmetrical. Ever notice one hand is bigger than the other, one eye is smaller than the other? So, you might be able to go back just 3 years and be 1,000 years ahead.

    – quoted from ‘Dummies Guide to Becoming a Visionary’

    1. Valissa

      The right tool for the right job… bwahaha…


    2. craazyman

      Economics gives voodoo a bad name.

      I’m still in a state of shock from “Lifting the Veil” yesterday. The U.S. needs some serious voodoo for a national soul retrieval.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s like that song from Triplets of Belleville – Voodoo can-can balais taboo…

        I know it sounds like Voodoo kaka hurray taboo or something like that. But I looked it up to make sure.

  12. Cynthia

    Obama mentioning yesterday that he’s “not concerned about a double-dip recession” is eerily reminiscent of McCain saying three years ago that we are just in a psychological recession (listen to link below). So look to hear him say that all we need to do is have happy thoughts or take prozac and the economy will rebound. But if prozac or happy thoughts don’t rebound the economy, electroshock therapy is bound to do it!

    1. Valissa

      Worrying is for the ‘little people’ dontcha know… the elites are doing quite well for themselves. They don’t even bother with crocodile tears or ‘I feel your pain’ rhetoric any more (Boehner’s crying jags don’t count). When politicians stop pandering to any group, it’s because they perceive no need to. They’re just not that into us.

  13. Foppe

    Here’s an absolutely lovely on Greece. The flag in the picture is cute, and while the first few paragraphs are drivel, the rest of the piece is decent (or at least informative).

  14. herman sniffles

    How do you weld a door shut on a plaster house? The door jam and door would both have to be metal. Usually both are wood. Perhaps this is all true, but it might just be a baby incubator full of bullshit. It would be nice to have more than one refugee confirming this story. And lets be careful here. We don’t want to give Jami Dimon ideas – like slitting foreclosed home owner’s throats after eviction.

  15. Doug Terpstra

    According to Cullen Roche at The Pragmatic Capitalist:


    “Jamie Dimon is upset … The US government took extraordinary measures to ensure that he did not go down as one of the greatest bank failures of all-time … making his bank the linchpin in the US economy … making Mr. Dimon’s already too big to fail bank too bigger to fail. But none of this is enough … And in a fit of rage Mr. Dimon went and rewarded himself with a monstrous $16MM pay package last year. After all, he deserved it.”

    “But this is not enough. It’s not enough to pay yourself outrageous sums of money when your company should be in a hole in the ground. It’s not enough to have the government by the throat and know that the taxpayers can never let your company fail. It’s not enough to have been a key player in helping the US banking system become the gigantic leech on the world’s largest economy … It’s not enough that you helped build a banking system that nearly crashed a $15 trillion economy.”

    “No none of this is enough. And when we pass an incredibly weak regulatory bill that does nothing to actually fix what caused the crisis you go and complain that the government is doing too much. Well, you’re right. The government did do too much. The government should have let you and your friends fail. They should have let you become the poster child of the greatest banking collapse in the history of the world. But you know what? They didn’t do that. They saved you. They saved your career. They saved your reputation. And they saved your precious multi-million dollar income. So, rather than complain that the government has done too much why don’t you just say thank you for what they did do, take a seat in the back of the room, thank your lucky stars and [STFU].”

  16. kevinearick

    Currency Introduction

    So, for those who like the personal stuff, here I am … working for a multi-national with a domestic automated manufacturing operation, selling to Australia, set up to take advantage of the currency trade over the last years. Because the profit made on currency is variable and artificial, so is the behavior in the management line, and, while everyone is doing their best to provide the necessary variable gears, the irrationalities bounce off one another and grow, as they head to the bottleneck position, which just happens to be where I am, where a talented kid would normally be, and I am the third guy in two months, which tells you that there is a system problem immediately.

    Today, the cut-off saw, which has an alarm on the line processor and self-recalibrates, made a miscut, was not corrected, and continued miscutting, while I was down at the load marking the original error as previously instructed. It’s a fast machine, I am nearing their decision to make me permanent, and everyone in the building thinks they have an information advantage over me. You know what happens. Half the people, from bottom to top, running similarly flawed systems find their way to my platform …etc,etc.

    My point is this: we sample all critical operations in all segments, and all operations in many segments. We are aware of the problems, but they have to addressed by priority, and the middle class has been bred to resist change, and there are quite few resistors resisting the resistance. It’s easy to cry about a problem; it’s another thing to pick up the required tool and use it effectively. In August, all the corporate accounting projection equations will top out, and, among other things, you will learn, that due to the response to these rolling recessions, everyone at the top exchanging currency to stay ahead of the collapsing inverted ponzi pyramid, the entitlement contributor to receiver ratio has fallen to less than 1:1, from more than 11:1, and there is no real money in the pension accounts.

    Not to worry though, there is still time to learn about currency. No one is going anywhere.

    We dismantle our manufacturing base, “re-mantle” it in China, send the crap back over and shelve it for free until it sells, tie jobs to buying the crap on credit, penalize anyone who refuses to buy severely, and wonder why channel stuffing of crap grows exponentially. (courtesy of another – “and then ship all the useless packaging & obsolete crap back across the Pacific to be “recycled”…)

    August also happens to be when the Family Law virus completely encapsulates the global IC chip.

    1. rickaekevin

      Considering the global vortex of kaleidoscopic debt and derivatives sequested internally on ledger pads kept in backoffices, propelled forward by the destructive internal logic of the family law fiasco that has come to dominate your life, I have to agree.

      The moon is in Taurus and beetlejuice is ascendant in the midsummer sky, and it’s nearing a triple witching hour where jokers are wild. Look for August to get your biorhythms in order, as Nostradamus and others have predicted.

      Down at the plant, outside of my ex-wife’s home in San Diego, or is it Toronto? I don’t know anymore, the cities blend together like swirls in cheesecake, we have a saying “don’t poop in your own backyard.” Why this is relevant I don’t know either, but it comes to mind whenever I think of my rambling comments on this blog.

    2. skippy

      HA…next gen is always around the corner, if the wagees still want a job, they better donate an organ or two…too the cause.

      Skippy…aaah the old on man with knowledge and experience expected to resolve apprentice army’s learning curve (if they care at all)….*A* Teams of 1 deploy!

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