Links 11/18/11

Dear readers: Those of you who were so generous as to give to NC during the fundraiser on the non-PayPal credit card portal will see the charge as “Bicycle, Inc” or something similar (your credit card company might truncate it on your statement). Those are legitimate charges as authorized. The “Bicycle, Inc.” name was displayed on the contribution form, but some of you may not have taken note of it.

Cesium fallout widespread Japan Times (hat tip reader Aquifer)

The flailing ECB MacroBusiness

IMF Won’t Release Greek Funds Without Support Bloomberg. Translation: creditor demand more confirmation of Greek prostration.

Will the euro be destroyed by ideologues? Dean Baker, Aljazeera (hat tip reader Aquifer)

One professor to another: listen to the people, or fail Michael Ignatieff, Financial Times

Greek non-default deal not running smoothly Ed Harrison. NC readers will not be surprised.

Greek bond losses put role of CDS in doubt Gillian Tett, Financial Times

Kabul’s Unlikely Housing Bubble Seems Ready to Burst McClatchy (hat tip reader 1 SK)

Trainers, Marines, Troops Everywhere; More US Deployments Around the Globe FireDogLake (hat tip reader Carol B)

Failure Is Good Paul Krugman, New York Times

Live Blogging #OWS – 11/16/11 Plutocracy Files (hat tip reader rjs). Some additional detail on the raid.

Protesters Blocked in Attempt to Disrupt NYSE Bloomberg

Occupy Denver costs adding up for city 9 News (hat tip Zap). Of course, the protestors will be blamed, rather than the policing overkill.

Canadian vets Occupy on Remembrance Day Rabble (hat tip reader 1 SK)

Third Eye Blind Releases Occupy Protest Song George Washington

Warsaw protester launches drone to spy on police RawStory (hat tip reader 1 SK) and Occupy the Skies! Protesters Could Use Spy Drones Wired (hat tip reader Aquifer). Try that in the US and I am sure they will declare you a terrorist and disappear you. Rooftops, maybe, but drones are too much a stick in the eye to authority.

#OccupyMap (hat tip Lambert Strether). This is totally cool.

Taxpayers footing bill for millionaires’ kids Daily Kos (hat tip Lambert Strether)

MF Global Is Said to Have Used Customer Cash Improperly New York Times. Duh, and the lack of meaningful detail is not encouraging.

BRIEF-FINRA fines JPMorgan Chase, orders reimbursement over unsuitable investments CNBC (hat tip Lisa Epstein)

AIG chairman says that you just don’t get it Finance Addict.

In Response, LPS Admits to Robo-Signing Deficiencies for Indicted Ex-Employees Dave Dayen, FireDogLake (hat tip reader Deontos)

Is Bank of America Gambling on Resurrection (or Is BoA Holding the US Hostage)? Adam Levitin (hat tip reader Deontos)

Antidote du jour:

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  1. M.InTheCity

    It’s an interesting commentary on the US that you’re able to mention that people would be “disappeared” for using drones against the police and that it doesn’t come off as hyperventilating conspiracy theory. Meh.

    1. Glenn Condell

      Here is John Robb’s take on how policing tech innovation could neuter OWS:

      ‘It is reasonable to project that in a mere five years, a protest like Occupy Wall Street wouldn’t be possible. Here’s a scenario to get your head around how things will change due to the introduction of bots (every bit of tech seen below is available and in most cases deployed already):

      * Software bots monitoring CCTV footage and social media traffic (as well as GPS info from every cell phone) detect a “signature” of a protest (aka a “riot/mob” to plutocrats).
      * The signature is confirmed by human analysts in a corporate facility (this capability was outsourced) located in xyz remote country getting paid (low single digits $ per hour).
      * Spy drones would be dispatched to confirm data via electromagnetic sensors (including a sniff check for weapons/drugs and remote sensing of IDs).
      * The “signature” of a “riot” is confirmed by software bots that pattern match it against pattern guidance from the Mayor’s office (in particular, it’s important to make sure that this “riot” isn’t a Tea Party or pro Wall Street gathering). At that point, regulatory bots would produce the needed e-paperwork to disperse the “riot.”
      * Drones, both ground and air, with non-lethals would be dispatched/released. Arrival in minutes given urban launching points.
      * Audio warning to protesters, “You are attempting to conduct a demonstration in violation of xyz regulation and code. Disperse immediately or face discomfort.”
      * 1 minute later, the drones use non-lethal but painful doses of sound/heat to force those people unwilling to leave out of the area.’

  2. psychohistorian

    So if you read the picture left to right the chicken came first but if you read it right to left then its the egg…such a conundrum.

    The article about the cesium spread being wider than earlier estimated is scary in that the results are based on a computer model rather than actual soil test data…..which is not being done because????????

    If you are going to build a model then you want to start with actual data and then trend it to show (for example) the expected cumulation of radioactive isotopes that may occur as Fukushima continues to spew its deadly content.

    Fukushima, the “accident” that keeps giving and giving.

  3. dearieme

    “Will the euro be destroyed by ideologues?” Wrong way round, chum. It was designed and introduced by ideologues.

    1. aet

      Nationalistic ideologues? Like usual?


      Then precisely what kind of ideologues?

      Surely not those trying to avoid another pan-European war? Not those lousy peace-between-the-nations ideologues again!

      Nationalism is soooo much better….with that ideology, you need only to check people’s papers for their tribe or country, to determine their rights….not the right tribe? Then they have no rights at all….so much simpler!

      1. aet

        There was a time, not so very long ago, when one had to change their money fifteen or more times while traveling across the territory which now comprises Germany.

        Do you pine for those days too? Or lament the lost income of the money-changers?

        1. aet

          Ought every American state have its own currency?
          Why or why not?
          Ought Europe have a common currency?
          Why or why not?
          Ought every province in China, or every region of the Russian Federation, have its own currency?
          Why or why not?

          And don’t be ideological while answering! That’s verboten!

          1. sidelarge

            That’s such a cop out since dearieme is clearly talking about the euro as we have it in the real world, and not about the euro in some imaginary world, but anyway:

            1 – Yes, because most Americans in most States are willing to label themselves “Americans” on both conceptual and concrete terms. You usually don’t hear someone from a wealthier State seriously complaining about having to indirectly bailing out someone else in a poorer State either. Which, of course, isn’t the case in Europe at all.

            2 – No, not in its current form, which is a topic that has been discussed to death on NC, including the possible YES scenario, which is drastically different from the EMU that we have.

            3 – The republics and regions in Russia are by and large far too economically and politically weak to see any benefit from having their own currencies, and some of them have been de facto threatened to be peripheral pieces of the ruble land. China, unlike Europe, has a long history of successive dynasties that ruled a large chunk of the entire region with more or less uniform rules and bureaucratic institutions. The Communist Party rule is the latest one, and even then, there is a strong tendency in many regions/provinces to seek for “autonomy,” which in fact includes having its own central bank, but the central government has been successful so far in either strong-arming them or convincing them on the broader “national” interest and collective development. It’s no coincidence that ever since Deng Shaoping started “reforming” the Chinese system, much of the Chinese education has been devoted to nourishing or igniting the Chinese nationalist sentiment to create both political and economic solidarity.

            You are the one who is overly ideological here, in a bad way.

          2. Sock Puppet

            1. People in eg NJ (60 cents back on every federal tax dollar) certainly complain about bailing out eg SC ($1.60 back) SC should be kicked out of the dollar zone along with the rest of the deep south welfare states.

          3. Anonymous Comment

            Re: Sidelarge who says:”You usually don’t hear someone from a wealthier State seriously complaining about having to indirectly bailing out someone else in a poorer State either.”

            Actually you do. Just turn on faux news.

        2. Jeff

          Every state should definitely have its own state bank.

          The Public Option: The Case for Parallel Public Banking Institutions,” he compares North Dakota’s financial situation to California’s. He writes of North Dakota and its state-owned bank:
          The state deposits its tax revenues in the Bank, which in turn ensures that a high portion of state funds are invested in the state economy. In addition, the Bank is able to remit a portion of its earnings back to the state treasury . . . . Thanks in part to these institutional arrangements, North Dakota is the only state that has been in continuous budget surplus since before the financial crisis and it has the lowest unemployment rate in the country.
          He then compares the dire situation in California:
          In contrast, California is the largest state economy in the nation, yet without a state-owned bank, is unable to steer hundreds of billions of dollars in state revenues into productive investment within the state. Instead, California deposits its many billions in tax revenues in large private banks which often lend the funds out-of-state, invest them in speculative trading strategies (including derivative bets against the state’s own bonds), and do not remit any of their earnings back to the state treasury. Meanwhile, California suffers from constrained private credit conditions, high unemployment levels well above the national average, and the stagnation of state and local tax receipts. The state’s only response has been to stumble from one budget crisis to another for the past three years, with each round of spending cuts further weakening its economy, tax base, and credit rating.

      2. Foppe

        Lovely uninformed false dichotomy there, aet. There is, however, a rather large gap between “Germany with 15 currencies” and “the entirety of the EU with 1”, and I don’t really see why you take the former to be the logical outcome of a move away from the latter.
        It would be helpful if you could recognize that the people who wanted to prevent another war are different from the industrialists and bankers who wanted to expand their customer base, and that the latter duped the former into believing that the Euro was a way to ensure stability. The Treaty of Maastricht was designed by a bunch of neoliberals even while the framework up to that was much more social; such a thing, when it happens, is called cooptation.

          1. Foppe

            Oh, sure, in a perfect world it does. But not one in which you have lots of different fiscal jurisdictions, and in which there are huge differences in economic development. You are being far too simplistic.

          2. sidelarge

            “with no benefit”

            I don’t know about you, but I would think that being able to stay away from such a strange (well, not so strange if you recall the fantastic days of the gold standard) systemic financial crisis is surely some form of “benefit.”

            Frankly, I don’t know where you have been for the last few years.

          3. Foppe

            To expand slightly on sidelarge’s point: because of the common currency, it became possible for banks to lend to the southern-european countries basically risk-free, because they no longer had to fear revaluation. Furthermore, because of the german interest rate policy, it was guaranteed that huge sums would be borrowed, since the rates were historically low for those countries. In sum: the Eurocrisis could not have happened without the single currency ensuring “no default”.

          4. Hugh

            “Different currencies just add costs, with no benefits.”

            Completely wrong. Look at Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland. What benefit did having a single currency get them? As Foppe in part notes, if they had kept liras and drachmas, etc., banks would have been more careful in their loans, Germany would have had more difficulties in racking up big trade surpluses against these countries, goods from the PIIGS countries would have been cheaper and more competitive, and the PIIGS countries would control their own currencies and be able to monetize away any excessive debt they accrued.

            So Germany did get lots of benefits from a single currency but the PIIGS saw little other than false growth from bubbles that burst and are sending them into depression and debt slavery. There is just no way to spin that into some kind of a plus for them.

          5. Sock Puppet

            The housing bubble in Europe was in the periphery, the med plus ireland, and was driven by banks and greed just like here. That includes UK, Icelandic, and US banks, none of whom use the Euro and all of whom are on the hook.

            Spain for example had a housing boom analagous in every respect to that in FL, NV or AZ. Northern European banks lending money at low rates to build second or retirement homes for northern europeans. Housing gets pumped up, locals are priced out or buy at the top then lose their construction job when the wheels come off and are driven into foreclosure. Should we kick FL, NV, AZ out of the dollar? Or would we see that as blaming the victim? Should we just demand more austerity for those states than for the states that are home to the banks?
            Germany is the Bank of America of Europe.

          6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Does it mean the world should have, now, as in at this time, as diverse as we are, one single currency, without waiting for more integration?

          7. Sock Puppet

            @ beef, a distraction at least from the underlying problem, which is greedy banksters making crappy loans and then trying to socialize the losses.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Foppe, you got to the heart of the matter. Yes, the big con was finessed through the Romantic dream of *U.S.Europe*. Then they would put paid to *American* might. Right.

    2. Linus Huber

      In most comments here I recognize that the situation is not really understood. It is not about bailing out Greece or any other country but about bailing out the banks again with tax payer’s money. The core function of banks is to evaluate the ability of the borrower to service his debt and pay it back within a reasonable period of time. The banks failed miserably again on this score and their managers continue to loot the system.
      Since when is it not allowed anymore for a nation to declare bankruptcy? That is a simple procedure based on a political decision. But the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels try to undermine any democratic movement going into that direction. They are keen to keep their lofty perks and jobs and do not really care about the people. It is a joke to assume that a country saddled with such huge debt will ever be able to pay it back. The idea that the young people of those countries are prepared to go into debt slavery for the next 20 or so years, is simply a fairy tale. I prefer an end with horror than horror without end.
      On a political level, I also do not believe that the present situation of enforced European Unity produces any such thing as unity but will over time rather divide Europe.
      There are many aspects in Europe that most Americans simply cannot grasp with regard to its extend and idealogical depth. So please to not assume a position of pro this or contra this without studying the matter in depth.

  4. aet

    On another note, I see that Bloomberg’s report on OWS does not see fit to mention the 30,000 residents of NYC (that’s the NYPD estimate – and that’s probably low, say some familiar with NYPD’s methods of crowd-counting) who turned out and marched last night to protest the mayor’s eviction of OWS from Zucotti Park. See:

    Is that any way for the mayor’s newspaper to keep people informed?

    I mean, Bloomberg does do the business news right well, imho – why the fall-down on OWS reporting?

    1. EmilianoZ

      It’s not just Bloomberg. It’s the whole mainstream media that’s ignoring the 30,000. Out of curiosity I visited Wapo’s website. It’s like the whole thing never happened. NYT vaguely mentions “thousands”. To me “thousands” means maybe 4 or 5 thousand. 30,000 is one order of magnitude more. It’s another beast.

      Anyways, when you think of it, 30,000 is not even 1% of the total NYC population. It’s more like a rounding error. Even Stewart/Colbert managed to scrounge up 200,000 to see their antics on the mall. Like Chris Hedges likes to say, we are celebrity worshipping cattle. Without a recognizable puppet to lead us, we are as lost as sheperdless sheep.

      Still, I was mightily pleased when I saw the aerial photographs. One measure of this success is that the OWS website has been swamped by menacing trolls. Who knew the 1% could use such foul language?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


        (sorry about the caps)

        Celebrities are like that.

        When you don’t pay (pay, as when you buy something of value) attention to them, they are no celebrities any more.

        In that sense, they are not real.

        They are your own delusions.

        They need you to exist and yet, you are the ones who make them rich.

        That’s got to be up there with ‘out of thin air,’ perpetual motion machines, MMT and Ponzi scheme.

      2. EH

        Even Stewart/Colbert managed to scrounge up 200,000 to see their antics on the mall.

        Didn’t they have the benefit of mass-media coverage, and positive press at that?

    2. Walter Wit Man

      Over at American Leftist I linked to CBS Nightly News program from last night where they mentioned numerous times that the crowds were much smaller than organizers promised.

      At the end, the “reporter” said that organizers promised tens of thousands but so far (at the time of the “report”), there were only hundreds.

    3. rjs

      looks like a cop beat on a judge by mistake:

      Paramilitary Policing of Occupy Wall Street: Excessive Use of Force Amidst The New Military Urbanism (November 17, 2011)
      “I was there to take down the names of people who were arrested… As I’m standing there, some African-American woman goes up to a police officer and says, ‘I need to get in. My daughter’s there. I want to know if she’s OK.’ And he said, ‘Move on, lady.’ And they kept pushing with their sticks, pushing back. And she was crying. And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he throws her to the ground and starts hitting her in the head,” says Smith. “I walk over, and I say, ‘Look, cuff her if she’s done something, but you don’t need to do that.’ And he said, ‘Lady, do you want to get arrested?’ And I said, ‘Do you see my hat? I’m here as a legal observer.’ He said, ‘You want to get arrested?’ And he pushed me up against the wall.”

      – Karen Smith, Retired New York Supreme Court Judge, working as a legal observer after the raids on Zucotti Park this Tuesday

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That cop should be very afraid now.

        In a real democracy though, every decent, honest citizen should command that same fear from our policepersons.

        You needn’t be a retired Supreme Court judge to get that kind of fair treatment from the police (except not-so-smart cops, perhaps).

      2. Cal

        Not if as is reported, the coward took off or covered up his badge number.
        It is important to take good close up pictures of any policeman involved in violence against taxpayers and to log or file that picture so that it can be used to reconcile with reports of violence against citizens.

  5. rjs

    re: failure is good; the supercommittee is already toast; they no longer have time to get a deal scored by CBO & back to the supercommittee by monday, so the committee members have the 48 hours required by the debt control act to review the legislation…

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Maybe. I don’t trust anything about this process and both criminal fascist parties want austerity and are simply looking for cover.

      With that as the obvious starting point I can only assume that the scumbag politicians in both parties will simply use the 10% automatic cuts as another whip; the scumbag criminal Congress will pass some compromise deal that saves the War Machine and Police State from any cuts . . . . well, you know the game.

      There is no good news about the super committee. The whole thing is a front for a criminal enterprise–the scumbag politicians that pretend to represent the people.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I don’t konw if failures are good, but I have been thinking perhaps laziness is good.

      With our brainwashed way of thinking, we praise the hardworking and discriminate against the not-so-hard working.

      What if that ‘despicable’ behavior or lifestlye is not a choice but via a ‘laziness’ gene? Perahps it is not a disease to be cured.

      Moreover, by themselves, note I say by themselves, lazy people have never hurt Nature, as far as I know.

      Maybe you say, we can’t be lazy in saving the planet.

      That’s why I say, by themselves, which means lazy people did not invent the internal combustion engine. By themselves, we would still be in a Horse Age.

      There you have. If we didn’t live in this upside-down world, more people would be

      1) in Praise of Folly
      2) favor Laziness.

      Let’s hope we dont’ fail in doing these.

      Failure would be not be good.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I’d like to add that laziness is like idleness squared, in case I am accused of pilfering someone else’s idea.

        It’s more than idleness.


  6. Patrice

    Re: Protestors blocked…..”Dozens of protesters sat on sidewalks in plastic handcuffs and were hauled away in police vans. Police made 177 arrests….”

    2011: Peaceful protesting redefined as a terrorist act by US Homeland Security.

    2012: Improper facial expressions redefined as a terrorist act by US Homeland Security.

    2013: Wandering thoughts redefined as a terrorist act by US Homeland Security.

    2014: ?

    “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?… Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?…The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking — not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”

    “It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself — anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face.. was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime…”

    1984, George Orwell, Book 1, Chap 5

    “Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your nervous system” – Orwell, Book 1, Chap 6

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Patrice, thanks for connecting the dots. Don’t you wonder how many brutal police *He-boys* were once altar boys?

      Connect: “Sex abuse scandals* in Roman Catholic Church; Fr. Flanagan & *Boys Town* in Omaha unto *Franklin Cover-up* from Omaha to Washington, D.C.

      Then, there’s the *football cult* forging *boys-to-men* of a certain kind lately illustrated by the Penn State Sex Abuse Scandal and Cover-up for Dough. Paterno extolled as a *devout Catholic* – it’s a TELL.

      Connect with YORK, PA – the place of publication of the infamous “NOBILITY and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII” (1993) by the Jesuit-trained Plinio Correa de Oliveira, published by “The American TFP, P.O. Box 1868, York, PA 17405 (717) 225-7147 [at pub. time]. In “NOBILITY” the TFP is defined thus: “The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), a registered name of The Foundation for a Christian Civilization, Inc.” – whose President in 1993 was Raymond E. Drake of TFP New York (xref 19th C. “Drake” with Rockefeller and Chicago). He wrote the book’s “Note to the Reader” while the “Foreword” was written by the “Nobility” idolator Morton C. Blackwell–Pres. Reagan’s “Special Assistant to the President for Public Liaison (1981-1984), Republican National Committeeman of VIRGINIA, who “supervised the YOUTH EFFORT for Ronald Reagan in the 1980 Election Campaign.” Was Karl Rove his protege?

      Connect the dots: In *dark* New Orleans: Jesuit High School monopoly on *best* education, Jesuit Seminary notorious for its *bummer* initiation into *holy orders* – “play to stay.” How does this connect with *Pretty Boy* Ronald Reagan’s *Knute Rockne* heroism and the *Hail Mary Pass* for *football heroism* at *Notre Dame* “(“Hail Mary … blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus”).

      Connect Paterno, a “devout Catholic” with Carmelo Soprano and question the *tradition* of *devout Catholic Mothers* who pray for the sons to become R.C. priests.

      It’s a RACKET for the perpetuation of a mysoginistic *Holy Empire* that has “gotten away with murder” for centuries. See: Geoffrey Robertson QC: “THE CASE OF THE POPE: Vatican Accountability for Human Rights Abuse” (NY, Penguin, 2010).

      It’s TIME to end the exploitation and abuse of boys by men for money (gambling, University endowments), via the *football cult* cum *sex cult* in the U.S.A. We’ve seen “only the tip” at Penn State.

      Consider the seduction

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Consider the cult: “THE POSTGAME” Internet legend extols:

        “Haggar and the PostGame are Proud to Tell Stories About Men Who Understand That It Requires Character, Heart and Confidence to Succeed in Sports” (sponsored by “LIFE KHAKI”–so the “Military segue” from football is obvious. Note that “khakis” are the clothing trademark of the Old Confederate Military-Industrial “NOBILITY”)–

        Legend posted above article du jour at:

        Isn’t it time to end the lies and abuse, the *sports* fraud?

      1. EH

        Even my teabagger bornagain muslim-fearing buddy liked “Four Lions.” He was extremely skeptical and bumming on the movie idea until the first explosion (you know which one).

    2. Mark P.

      Patrice wrote: ‘2012: Improper facial expressions redefined as a terrorist act by US Homeland Security.’

      You think you’re joking, don’t you?

      ‘Lie Detection’ – 04.21.2009

      “To a few human experts, our faces are open books. Now computer technology automates those abilities….’

      Basically, they’ve automated the Ekman face reading technique. They can’t, though, use the results in court … yet.

          1. aletheia33

            yes you and the lazy and idle will go to heaven, if it weren’t for the smart and highly active, we would all be in better shape.

            not sure if this is ironic or not.

  7. JCC

    Does anyone know anything about the Barnhardt Capital Management Company? Looking up on Google gave me pages and pages of references to the closing of this company and the “letter”, but I could find nothing on how much money was under management or whether it was a successful business in the first place.

    It is, without a doubt, one of the strangest investment management websites I have ever seen which makes me wonder an awful lot about the motivation of the letter and the viability of the company in the first place. Although the letter starts out in the right place, there were way too many references to the “Marxist Obama” and way too many religious references, which makes me a little uncomfortable with the whole flare-up.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      JCC, the photo posted at Barnhardt shows a woman CLEARLY *mind-controlled* via hypnosis or drugs. The eyes TELL.

      Connect with the *Rave* movement promulgated by Poppy’s ReichIV xref Operation North Woods-REX 84-IranContra unto Sonny’s *The P.A.T.R.I.O.T Act. Connect Poppy’s Clinton and Mena Arkansas, “War on Drugs”. For *How It Works* CONNECT:

      “THE IDEOLOGY OF TYRANNY: Bataille, Foucault, and the Postmodern Corruption of Political Dissent” by Guido Giacomo Preparata (NY, Macmillan, 2007) and articles on our *crime* at;

      “TRANSFORMATION: The Spiritual and Religious Dimensions of Global Rave Culture” by Robin Sylvan (NY, Routledge, 2005);

      “TRANCE: FORMATION OF AMERICA: The True Life Story of a CIA Mind Control Slave” by Cathy O’Brien with Mark Phillips” (, 1995); – myriad videos on “Franklin Cover-up” and “Boys Town” of Omaha; on drug-and-pedophile-sex-abuse rings; on global trafficking of kids and drugs.

    2. M.InTheCity

      Yeah, I thought it was pretty good for the first paragraph or so. Then OBAMA MARXIST. Oy. She lost me after that. I mean, if Obama WAS a Marxist, at least we could have David Harvey go toe to toe with him in a proper dialects take down. But alas.

      And then she ended it with a quote from the bible, which made no sense to my untrained in fundamentalist talking-points eyes.(“This is the Lord’s doing; and it is wonderful in our eyes.”). Really? The Lord is cool with this? The same Christianity that for centuries barred the use of interest/usary? Why is it when people say it’s God’s Will (or Karma or lazy Greeks), I figure it’s probably displacement?

  8. LeonovaBalletRusse

    The George Washington link to Third Eye Blind song – is this for real? SO hopelessly SQUARE!

    The closest thing we have to the mood is Queen’s “We will rock you” when it comes to message of the People to BigFreakSystem dealing *debt peonage* to us by design.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Hah, I’m not the only one! I’m an old fart and thought it was retro in a bad way, too chipper for real protest music. Sort of like what you’d get in a commercial.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Yves, of course it IS a commercial for talent-NOT that some agent is pushing, but *clueless*. They might as well have featured Dinah Shore singing: “See the YOU (punching fist) S.A. in your SHEV (ditto) ro – lay.”

        Yves, you have a community here that’s impenetrable to squares. Bravissima!

      2. scraping_by

        True — The best lyrics would be from Steppenwolf’s _Monster_, but it’s too long, you don’t get a marching beat from a mini rock opera, and the Eurocentric thumbnail sketch of American history will send a lot of people off on a tangent.

        Still, it’s real retro. Maybe they’ll grab up pieces of it.

    2. Sock Puppet

      How about this?

      We’ll be fighting in the streets
      With our children at our feet
      And the morals when they worship will be gone
      And the men who spurred us on
      Sit in judgement of all wrong
      They decide and the shotgun sings the song

      I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
      Take a bow for the new revolution
      Smile and grin at the change all around
      Pick up my guitar and play
      Just like yesterday
      Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
      We don’t get fooled again

      The change, it had to come
      We knew it all along
      We were liberated from the foe, that’s all
      And the world looks just the same
      And history ain’t changed
      ‘Cause the banners, they’d all flown in the last war

      I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
      Take a bow for the new revolution
      Smile and grin at the change all around
      Pick up my guitar and play
      Just like yesterday
      Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
      We don’t get fooled again
      No, no!

      I’ll move myself and my family aside
      If we happen to be left half alive
      I’ll get all my papers and smile at the sky
      For I know that the hypnotized never lie
      Do ya?


      There’s nothing in the street
      Looks any different to me
      And the slogans are out-phased, by-the-bye
      And the parting on the left
      Is now parting on the right
      And their beards have all grown longer overnight

      I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
      Take a bow for the new revolution
      Smile and grin at the change all around
      Pick up my guitar and play
      Just like yesterday
      Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
      We don’t get fooled again
      Don’t get fooled again
      No, no!


      Meet the new boss
      Same as the old boss

      1. Hugh

        “Meet the new boss
        Same as the old boss”

        And there you have it, the Obama Administration and American politics in general, in nine words.

  9. bmeisen

    Re: Taxpayers footing bill

    Charter schools parallel for-profit higher ed in proclaiming to offer more choice i.e. freedom while leeching the commonweal for the benefit of the 1%.

    Contemporary American culture exhibits profound confusion about education – the belief that education is fundamentally a private choice dominates across groups. This is exhibited in the violent reaction of students at Penn St. to the removal of a football coach. They pay up unquestioningly however when tuition goes up disproportionately and when their student debt burdens them during the most productive years of their lives.

    Their rationale appears to be that they chose college and the choice improved their earnings potential so they have to pay. This is liberalism’s version of the brainwashed cult members drinking poisoned kool-aid.

    Education is first and foremost a public good. It should be free from kindergarten to doctorate and access must be available to all who qualify. Within the system there can be institutions that are dedicated to the highly gifted as there would be institutions dedicated to the handicapped.

    For-profit universities are able to attract and cheat their students and the society as long as public and non-profit institutions charge levels of tuition that cannot be paid by lower income groups. Given the choice attending a public university that charges 50k for an imperfect degree, and attending a for-profit that promises easy, customized degrees for 50k economic man prefers the latter.

    Students would prefer public institutions that are free.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      France perfected this process, bringing up the brightest minds, talents, and industrious personalities through free education of citizens from even the poorest levels, giving them access to the very highest levels of formal education through merit. This, however, was shot to hell by the neoconlib agenda which is so succinctly set forth by Guido Giacomo Preparata in “THE IDEOLOGY OF TYRANNY”, Chapters 8: “The Tomb Raiders of the Postmodern Right: Junger’s Anarch, the Neocon, and the Bogus Hermeneutics of Leo Strauss” and 9: True Power: The End of Dissent, Iran/Iraq, and the War on Terror.”

      Recall: “A man’s best friend is his dogma” (“THE PESSIMIST’S HANDBOOK” ca 1980).

    2. Chris

      “Within the system there can be institutions that are dedicated to the highly gifted as there would be institutions dedicated to the handicapped.”

      Wholly agree.

      The rationale behind charter schools is that they, unlike public schools, can accept and reject and expel students.

      Here’s an example, extreme I know, but illustrative of the
      cultural miasma that public schools face.

      A school in West Marin, which is mostly dairy ranches, tiny towns amongst huge areas of state and federal parkland, had a student some years ago that caused a friend who worked at the school to quit teaching in disgust.

      The student spoke no English, was crawling with lice, was malnourished and was dumped on the school every day by two working parents of questionable legality in the U.S.

      California state law demands that she be admitted, special language accommodations be implemented and that her health and nutrition needs be satisfied. The teacher spent well over half of her classroom time “accomodating” the
      student to the detriment of the other boys and girls.

      Most public school classroom time and money is spent “accomodating” students who are never going to create one job, build one factory, design anything or pay much if anything in taxes.

      Meanwhile, the brilliant child who might create those social benefits is remedialized, reading far below his level, ignored and awash in the sociological pap that is in fashion. i.e. California students will be forced to study a unit on the “contributions of Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered People to society.”

      If it were memorizing Noel Coward librettos that would be one thing, but it’ll be more likely the wit, wisdom and moral philosophy of Chaz Bono and important historical figures like Harvey Milk.–“George Washington?” Wasn’t he a player for the Seventy-Sixers?

      This is why people want and are creating demanding and supporting charter schools.

      Just watch where the breastbeating writers at Daily Kos send their kids when they are of age.

      Our last mayor, Gavin Newsom, spent years blabbing about diversity, multiculturalism and the importance of San Francisco public school’s latest program tinkering around the edges of institutional bankruptcy. Once he and his billionheiress wife had kids they bolted out of town for Central Marin and it’s safe clean streets and ample choices of both public and private schools.

      1. bmeisen

        Send your kids to private schools – just don’t claim tax credits or other forms of public funding for private education. Also continue please to pay taxes like everyone else from which public education is sufficiently financed.

        Sounds like a sad little girl – are you suggesting that she should have been refused education?

        CA reached a tipping point about 20 years ago. As soon as enough taxpayers opt out of public education and chose charter schools then public schools devolve into displacement centers. The result by the way I believe of direct democracy i.e. Prop 13.

        Public health insurance only works when everyone is compelled to particate. You can choose plans from for-profit providers and public providers should provide competitive benefits. Similarly public education only works when everyone is compelled to participate. Everyone suffers when taxpayers opt out of public education.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Why did enough taxpayers opt out of public education in the first place?

          What can be done to entice them back?

          1. Sock Puppet

            Mr. Beef,

            So that their children can go to school with other kids just like them. In the deep south, that’s other white kids. In NJ for example, it’s either other 1% kids, or other kids who need to be shielded from the “lies” about evolution, condoms and the like that are taught in public schools.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            You’re right.

            I see why people are like kids. They never really talk about the real reasons.

            Kids pout and when they don’t get their parents’ attention, they will say something like, I am holding my breath unless you give me what I want, or I am not eating unless you take me to Disneyland.

            Some adults are like that too. Refuse to eat to demand attention (for a just cause). I can see a nobody in jail might resort to that to get the media to cover his/her story. But if you are well known already, I don’t think you have to abuse your body like that.

      2. alex

        “Most public school classroom time and money is spent “accomodating” students who are never going to create one job, build one factory, design anything or pay much if anything in taxes.”

        If only people hadn’t gotten cold feet about eugenics, America (the pioneer in that area) would now be a nation of superhumans.

        If a person can’t be expected to do those things you listed, why should they be considered a worthwhile human being?

        “Meanwhile, the brilliant child who might create those social benefits is remedialized”

        How are brilliant children “remedialized”? The worst things schools do with bright kids that want to learn is not to challenge them enough. I admit that can be a problem, and should be remedied, but to the extent that it’s not it isn’t because of the cost. Bright kids who are eager to learn are incredibly easy to teach, and it’s also quite inexpensive to teach them at an appropriate level. They need less supervision and assistance than other kids, even at a grade school level. Hence your argument that the bright kids aren’t properly educated because the needy kids suck away resources is complete manure.

        And whatever you do, don’t look at Finnish schools. Sure they’re the envy of the world, but they devote most of their resources to the kids that have problems. However I’m afraid that the cognitive dissonance between that reality and the social Darwinism approach you advocate might be too much for you.

        P.S. Apologies to Charles for using the term “social Darwinism”, as that’s an approach that he expressly denounced as a perversion of his theory.

        1. Cal

          Many kids are “remedialized” by having to read material that is dumbed down for the level of the lumpen around them. Also, there is the sociological engineering toward creating thought patterns which are up to parents rather than educating and teaching the basics.

          Busing violent ghetto kids into decent or excellent schools is a fine way of holding back those that might achieve. Instead we should fund the ghetto schools and allow those that might profit from it to excel in their own neighborhood schools.

          “And whatever you do, don’t look at Finnish schools. Sure they’re the envy of the world, but they devote most of their resources to the kids that have problems.”

          What a howler…the average Finn speaks Finnish, is the same tribe, lives in a working economy and attends schools that are not funded in a zero sum game reaching to the bottom. I agree, let’s import more Finnish children into our schools. We can send them the children of illegal aliens and our gangtas. Let’s check on their schools efficacy after a generation.

      3. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Chris, excellent points. Makes me wonder how many Republican – TeaPartier – ultraconservative – freemarket families insist on FREE (to them) *government* funding of THEIR *special needs* children. Their greed and hypocrisy, biting the hands that feed them, is stupendous.

        Someone ought to investigate this and show us the big picture in comparative charts. I wonder if Errol Morris would consider doing a documentary on this issue.

    3. MLS

      Reasonable people can disagree on how to fix our broken education system and the proper role of charter schools, etc., but your notion of “free” education is badly misguided. There is no such thing as free, someone is paying teachers salaries, building maintenence and upkeep, the costs for food, heat, light, books, desks, supplies and so forth. And of course salaries for administrative staff and the education beaurocracy.

      The money is going to come from somewhere, and since you view education as a public good, that probably means it’s coming from taxpayers. It’s absolutely, simply not free.

      1. bmeisen

        I mean “free” to the extent that it is free for direct users: children and their families and in higher ed students. All funding comes out of local, state and national tax revenues with the brunt coming from the national pot. The current emphasis on local sourcing is problematic. Also eliminate local boards of education with elected seats. Let public education be set by state-level committees composed of state legislators and profis, which then participate in national oversight committees.

        There isn’t any funding for football coaches, pedophiles or outdoor programs. Let the NBA and NFL get their talent directly from local leagues.

        1. MLS

          But that still isn’t “free”. The family of 4 paying $8,000 a year in property taxes is paying to educate their kids if they send them to public schools. They are direct users of the system. That federal dollars are added just means that a portion of their national income tax is going to pay for the education of their kids AND to educate kids in other districts.

          Any increases in the level of spending towards schools/education naturally implies higher taxes for someone (other spending held equal). It’s not free.

  10. Ron

    MF Global like all financial investment firms along with the general banking systems uses leverage backed by clients collateral. The leverage creates instant wealth and increases money velocity but what supports this instant increase in money supply is weak or valueless collateral. The basic core issue in modern finance is credit creation via leverage generating massive amounts of money velocity that is inherently suspect-able to fraud and quick losses. One only has to review the investment fable that RE only goes up or the economic belief in the Great Moderation of the past 30 years to understand how quickly these financial fables unravel. Leverage is the central banks avenue for large doses of money creation focusing on credit/equity/commodity markets that are key to understanding the rapid increase in there price structures both up and down.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Ron, this is the *raison d’etre* for HST superfast computer skimming, er trading, supremacy. The *fastest* SOB *wins*.

      These guys are reallly infantile: *King of the Mountain* at age 2.

      1. Ron

        Notice the financial media focus on customer accounts with little mention of the behind scenes leveraged bets that generated the corporate BK. I love the meme that customer funds/assets are missing, as if somebody misplaced millions of dollars in the wrong drawer. Leveraged money velocity is key to understanding the current future market price/profit structure and shows how the FED is able generate price inflation. Lately Peak Oil and rising economic expectations have been the MSM reason for oil’s price rise but the reality can be found in credit/leverage for these markets by the FED liquidity pumping into future markets.

  11. Jim Pivonka

    I am confused by my inability to find a Twitter tweet, a Facebook like, or any other share button on the NC article pages. Am I blind, or do I need to OK another script of some type, or are these just not present?

  12. Cal

    One thing is for sure, I will never ever buy or consume
    any foodstuff produced in Japan. Nor will I take the long wished for trip to Japan where I would have to eat local food. The risk is not worth it.

    Japan can add to the cost of its nuclear power the loss
    of export earnings from the millions of people like me worldwide.

    1. F. Beard

      The risk is not worth it. Cal

      You remind me of doctors and nurses who seem to take extraordinary risks with their health and yet remain unscathed.

      I won’t shun Japan or Japanese products. I’m looking forward to buying a new, slightly radioactive Japanese car (It should be easy to find in the dark :) ) at a nice price.

      1. Cal

        Doctors at least take an oath to do the same, plus both
        are paid rather well to take risks.

        As a free citizen of our Republic, I can buy whatever I want. Feel free to chow down on Fukashima sushi, maybe there’s some parable that’ll protect you.

        Closest I can think of is

        “a fool returnith to his junk food or radioactive folly
        like a dog returnith to his vomit…”

        1. F. Beard

          Luckily, I am not a fan of Japanese food anyway.

          I do like their cars though.

          “a fool returnith to his junk food or radioactive folly
          like a dog returnith to his vomit…”

          I would bet that worry kills more people than what they worry about. It’s not like we can avoid death anyway.

  13. robert157

    Part of the cost of policing the Occupy Denver protest involves ticketing drivers who honk in support. Seriously.

    They also have cruisers parked there all day with lights flashing, I suppose in order to make it look unappetizing and criminal to the rest of us, and to justify all those increased costs. It’s as pathetic as it is frightening.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I also think a lot of traffic-points conscious drivers would not drive by anywhere close if they install more traffic-light cameras all around the area.

  14. barrisj

    Europe on the brink? Police-state tactics at home? Obama’s massive push for expanded overseas military bases? Yes, but…HOW DID NATALIE WOOD REALLY DIE?? All of America wants to know, and the cable “news” channels and TMZ will be there. Finally, a news story that brings us all together.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I believe celebrityhood is not real.

      It’s a mere fata morgana.

      The best thing one can do is to not pay any attention.

      1. scraping_by

        It’s real in the money to be spent/made. It’s real in the minutes of media time in people’s faces. It’s real in that it substitutes for a lot of real things (community, family, gossip, heroes, mentors, and so many more).

        So, it’s the unreal reality of the present regime. Don’t ask questions, just eat your dirty laundry.

  15. mk

    saw something on boing boing about rebuilding people’s library, I just ordered 10 paperbacks of Econned:

    Order Number: 102-8671906-8262600

    10 items will be shipped to The UPS Store re: Occupy Wall St. by Estimated delivery: Nov. 28, 2011 – Nov. 29, 2011

    You can donate to the library by posting books to:

    The UPS Store
    Re: Occupy Wall Street
    Attn: The People’s Library
    118A Fulton St. #205
    New York, NY 10038

    Thanks for all you do at NC!

  16. scraping_by

    Quoted in FDL —

    “We simply don’t know if the major banks were aware of what these individuals were doing.”

    The concept of taking a spear for the Boss is really overdone in American business. Many of the sci fi dystopias are based on investing life and death loyalty in a corporation. “Making the Boss look good” is career advice we all listen to, but it has its limits. Since the mid level clericals are looking at real jail time, which is a life threatening event in so many ways, they may be looking at that level of decision.

    It’s not unknown to treat employment as if it were citizenship. Just reading the story of the King Ranch, which, for most of its history, could count on its hands to perform acts of violence up to and including murder on the say so of the owner. A private army without the ethos that binds an army: lots of loyalty up but little or no loyalty down.

    Here’s a good rule of thumb. Keep your self sacrifice to people who can’t get rid of you by signing a piece of paper. For the Linda Greens of the world, they’d do well to find out what it’s worth, and getting what it’s worth in

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Prettiness is the smallest object in the world.

      No scientist can invent anything to beat that.

  17. Yata

    “It is unclear whether MF Global officials knowingly used customer money or if they believed the buffer was intact. If investigators determine that MF Global intentionally tapped the customer funds, they could file both civil and criminal charges.”


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