Links 11/26/11

Dear readers,

I am having truly bizarre issues with my yves@nakedcapitalism address, which is actually a Gmail account. I can send messages to it from my two outside accounts, and some messages from third parties are coming through. A lot, however, are apparently bouncing. A partial fail is much harder to understand than a total fail. My tech guy will poke around on Sunday, but if anyone technology minded has an idea what might be amiss, your input would be very much appreciated. The mail woes also mean I’m not getting my usual supply of reader-provided links!

Immunise or lose benefits, parents told ABC (Australia)

Pakistan NATO Helicopter Attack: 7 Troops Reportedly Dead Huffington Post

The fruits of liberation Glenn Greenwald

Another terrible day for Europe UK Bubble

Italy Leads Busy Week of Euro-Zone Bond Sales Wall Street Journal

Foreign News: Eurobonds and contagion to Poland and Slovenia Ed Harrison

Banks Build Contingency for Breakup of the Euro New York Times

China to probe US clean energy subsidies Financial Times

Occupy Protests Discourage Black Friday Shopping Huffington Post. Your humble blogger saw a movie. I hate shopping and I hate crowds, so I never do Black Friday.

Los Angeles mayor says Occupy LA demonstrators must leave City Hall camp by Monday Washington Post

Oregonian Buries Lede in Police Overtime Article: Officers are Unnecessary for #Occupiers’ Peaceful Assembly Firedoglake

The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy Guardian (hat tip reader EmilianoZ)

Stocks: Worst Thanksgiving-Week Drop Since ’32 Bloomberg

Inside McKinsey Financial Times

What Really Happened to Strauss-Kahn? New York Review of Books. Adds some new and useful details. As the related FT story indicates, it gives some grist to those who believe DSK was set up.

Antidote du jour:

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    1. YankeeFrank

      If you have access to the rejected email’s error message posting it up, sans any private data, would be helpful. Its likely one or more of the mail servers that handle the nakedcapitalism domain has bad or missing routing data.

    2. Bill

      CB: “I think you’re being hacked…”

      I’ve thought so too. Note that the Patriot Act
      would likely authorize you being put on a WatchList
      legally (if you travel abroad and email to someone abroad)
      in which case your internet and phone activity can be legally hacked.

      Add that to the fact that there are private contractors
      authorized to do that, and you’ve got a recipe for
      both stalking & harassment, abuses of power.

      And then that you’re critical of powerful people.

      I’ve been concerned about your physical safety as
      you become more well-known and your ideas have
      international respectable dissemination.

      I’ve been going through this for almost 2 years now.

      I’m and ex-govt employee who was a whistle blower
      twice when I worked as a civilian employee for
      the Army.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      For the record, my site was loading slowly for completely explicable reasons, not enough servers dedicated to it, in combination with the use of WordPress, which is simply NOT suited to a high traffic blog (it’s great on moderated ones, but even with hypercaching, is a database hog).

      I doubt they’d need or want to hack intrusively. In fact, that would be silly. Private types (like nasty right wingers) would presumably try a DoS attack first, and I’ve never been subject to one, just ordinary traffic spikes on big news days that he site handled badly.

      And I have a second account that is clearly mine too that you can trace to NC that is operating fine. So the facts seem to suggest this is a weird screw up (I’ve had that happen to my own accounts when moved from one server to another, which webhosts often find necessary).

      1. psychohistorian


        I sent you an email about your email problem but do want to make an observation about your web site.

        It does load slower, IMO, than some of the other wordpress sites I go to. I see this as a conscious effort to dis-encourage readers from your site and believe that it is done by structuring the ad HTML code as time and bandwith consuming as possible….easy/peasy and under the covers, so to speak….whoooocooudaaanode

        Just because you don’t see yourself as a threat to “civilized” society does not mean others don’t and are acting accordingly.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          No, this is strictly a function of traffic. WP has a very bad performance decay curve. I get 2 million page views a month. I am pretty sure that puts me in the top 1% or 2% for blogs. WP is perfectly fine for the 95%+ of blogs with lower traffic than mine.

          WordPress is fine for blogs with up to about 800k-1 million page views a month. It gets super kludgey at over that level. It is a total database hog even with hypercaching.

          There are also sites with much higher traffic than mine that run WP BUT they are serious commercial enterprises with their own servers and tech staffers.

          I am in that ugly space of running WP hard on third party servers. That is a bad place to be but it is where I am.

  1. rjs

    something in my mail this AM:

    Vote on Nov. 28th: A bill that would define the USA as a battlefield and Citizens as the enemy and would authorize indefinite detention of anyone anywhere WITHOUT trial – Here is what I know, we have the enemy belligerents act of 2010 which allows the president to declare anyone anywhere an ememy belligerent without evidence, which means you are not protected by the constitution because you are not a citizen. And now we have a bill coming to the floor that would define the USA as a battlefield and Citizens as the enemy and would authorize indefinite military detention of anyone anywhere without trial.
    several links, incl:
    S.3081 – Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010 Text

  2. Greg R

    I received one of those “Sorry, we were unable to deliver your message to the following address. ” responses.

    Is there an address for your tech I can send it to?

  3. Norman

    Yves, only a guess here, but considering that a whole lot of people seem to be having the same problem, from can’t locate server, to getting bizarre excuses, which I might add seem to have just popped up in the past few weeks, coincide with the crackdown of #OWS demonstrations around the country. I hesitate to say censorship/harassment, but considering what’s going on today, it wouldn’t surprise me. Control of the internet, cut the rabble-rouser’s ability to communicate, something akin to what happened in Iran during the Green movement/presidential result uprising. All brought to by your local software purveyor!

    1. rjs

      at one time i was skeptical of email censorship, but that changed completely when i experienced it first hand myself…every week, i receive news forwarded from legitgov,org at my yahoo mail email address, which i typically forward to friends – in october they started covering OWS, & when i tried to forward that package was exactly what the video in this post from thinkprogress shows:
      i was repeatedly confronted with a captcha, which i always completed correctly, yet i was continually blocked from sending that link package with the message “Your message was not sent. Suspicious activity has been detected on your account. To protect your account and our users, your message has not been sent.” i was able to send other test emails from my yahoo account without hindrance, but not the one with “occupy wall street” in it…

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        rjs, the “captcha” no-go must be the *tell*. Same thing happened to me, when I tried to send a link for some site not approved by the Reich.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        Actually, this looks to be simple. Someone sent me a bounce message, and it says “mailbox over quota”. I have NEVER deleted a message from that Gmail account. So I’ve overused my Google allotment.

        See, I told you the paranoia was unwarranted. But still weird any messages got through.

        1. reslez

          Emails can differ significantly in size. A simple text email may be only a few kb, while an HTML formatted message can have image attachments and take up much more space.

    2. tom allen

      Don’t you think you’ll be called paranoid if you suggest the government is surveilling its citizens computers, cell phones, and GPS devices with the assistance of the computer industry? :-)

      From the surveillance wiki: “The vast majority of computer surveillance involves the monitoring of data and traffic on the Internet.[4] In the United States for example, under the Communications Assistance For Law Enforcement Act, all phone calls and broadband Internet traffic (emails, web traffic, instant messaging, etc.) are required to be available for unimpeded real-time monitoring by Federal law enforcement agencies.[5][6][7]
      There is far too much data on the Internet for human investigators to manually search through all of it. So automated Internet surveillance computers sift through the vast amount of intercepted Internet traffic and identify and report to human investigators traffic considered interesting by using certain “trigger” words or phrases, visiting certain types of web sites, or communicating via email or chat with suspicious individuals or groups.[8] Billions of dollars per year are spent, by agencies such as the Information Awareness Office, NSA, and the FBI, to develop, purchase, implement, and operate systems such as Carnivore, NarusInsight, and ECHELON to intercept and analyze all of this data, and extract only the information which is useful to law enforcement and intelligence agencies.[9]
      Computers are also a surveillance target because of the personal data stored on them. If someone is able to install software (either physically or remotely), such as the FBI’s Magic Lantern and CIPAV, on a computer system, they can easily gain unauthorized access to this data.[10]
      Another form of computer surveillance, known as TEMPEST, involves reading electromagnetic emanations from computing devices in order to extract data from them at distances of hundreds of meters.[11][12][13]
      The NSA also runs a database known as “Pinwale”, which stores and indexes large numbers of emails of both American citizens and foreigners.[14][15]

      Main article: Lawful interception
      The official and unofficial tapping of telephone lines is widespread. In the United States for instance, the Communications Assistance For Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) requires that all telephone and VoIP communications be available for real-time wiretapping by Federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies.[5][6][7] Two major telecommunications companies in the U.S. — AAT&T and Verizon—have contracts with the FBI, requiring them to keep their phone call records easily searchable and accessible for Federal agencies, in return for $1.8 million dollars per year.[16] Between 2003 and 2005, the FBI sent out more than 140,000 “National Security Letters” ordering phone companies to hand over information about their customers’ calling and Internet histories. About half of these letters requested information on U.S. citizens.[17]
      Human agents are not required to monitor most calls. Speech-to-text software creates machine-readable text from intercepted audio, which is then processed by automated call-analysis programs, such as those developed by agencies such as the Information Awareness Office, or companies such as Verint, and Narus, which search for certain words or phrases, to decide whether to dedicate a human agent to the call.[18]
      Law enforcement and intelligence services in the United Kingdon and the United States possess technology to remotely activate the microphones in cell phones, by accessing phones’ diagnostic/maintenance features, in order to listen to conversations that take place near the person who holds the phone.[19][20][21][22][23][24]
      Mobile phones are also commonly used to collect location data. The geographical location of a mobile phone (and thus the person carrying it) can be determined easily (whether it is being used or not), using a technique known multilateration to calculate the differences in time for a signal to travel from the cell phone to each of several cell towers near the owner of the phone.[25][26] A controversy has emerged in the United States over the legality of such techniques, and particularly whether a court warrant is required.[27] Records for one carrier alone (Sprint), showed that in a given year federal law enforcement agencies requested customer location data 8 million times.[28]”

      1. Dave of Maryland

        For cell phones there is a simple solution: Remove the battery, connecting it only when necessary, and for as long as necessary. Outgoing calls only, it seems. How long does it take for a secret, pre-planted program to boot up, “call home”, check in, and establish where the cell phone is? Sixty seconds? Less?

        There used to be pay phones for this sort of thing, but they’re all gone now.

      2. Stu

        Awww shucks, in our ongoing battle against the terrorthirsts among us we need to leave the poor guys n gals at the FBI alone and let them do their real jobs.
        Field investigations and detective work.

        All this automated software is going to cause them to be fired, laid off and their pay reduced. I say livable wages for the FBI! Best way to guarantee that is to thwart automation.Good reason for all patriots and lovers of the Constitution to definitely use trigger words in every single email and cell phone message that they send.

        I mean, wouldn’t the automated system get overloaded?
        If everyone is a suspect, no one is a suspect.

        Also, agree with your friends what OWS and other subjects should be called, you know, a cute nickname or something so that your messages won’t get delayed or censored.

        So like Brer Rabbit says, “whatever you do, don’t you all use the trigger words…”

      3. psychohistorian

        As someone who had their international calls listened to in 2004 by the CIA, reported it to my “elected” representatives and have never heard anything back from them, I am not surprised.

        Just another step on the descent into hell on earth.

      4. Glenn Condell

        Is any of this incredible surveillance firepower ever used to detect actual, genuine real threats to freedom, democracy, public safety etc etc? Is this multi-billion dollar edifice of snooping wizardry instructed to avoid listening to or singling out for example conversations between bankers, hedge fund managers, mortgage lending servicers, Fed and Treasury officials… let alone rightwing Tea Party anti-govt zealots with several guns and lots of free time?

        If we can be worried about ‘the govt’ reading our mail and logging our surfing, would Lloyd Blankfein or Jamie Dimon be likewise concerned? Or is there some sort of ring fence around the elite, a virtual ‘no-go’ area? Is the FIRE sector grip on government so thorough that the state’s surveillance apparatus has been suborned to benefit them at everyone else’s expense? (Well, not everyone. Even the banks draw the line at crossing the MI complex and the Lobby, but as their aims generally dovetail nicely, that’s not an issue)

        Right wing nutjobs are probably safe too, they are front line troops for the elite, though the odd one might be sacrificed to provide a veneer of ‘balance’. Mostly though, it’s anyone who poses a threat to the beneficiaries of the status quo who’ll receive the attention.

        The conversation Yves had with that Valukas fellow (and others) the other day – he said that prosecutions were (sadly!) difficult in such complex cases without the smoking gun of an email or a recording, such as they had in (whichever case was mentioned, can’t recall) Well, how is it that just this one financial skulduggery-oriented conversation was nabbed, out of the trillions of words and phrases captured by the Narus machines, in order that a prosecution might go ahead? Was the defendant expendable, a lamb sacrificed for the greater good of the dominant rams?

        I read somewhere a while ago, long before the crash, an article that registered concern about the private security forces being gathered by hedge fund billionaires and bankers and how they were so comprehensive and state of the art that they could conceivably pose a threat to national security. But I also read something not long after that made clear that the NSA/CIA/FBI had given tacit approval to senior operatives to go to work on Wall St ‘in their spare time’

        So rather than posing a threat to NatSec could it be that, like the regulatory agencies, Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court, the intel services have thrown their lot in with the 1%, in so doing becoming part of Them rather than Us? Redefining their role from protection of the citizenry from threat, to protecting the threat from the citizenry?

        Looked at in those terms it would almost seem unnatutural for these public institutions NOT to have been turned, wouldn’t it? Oh there must be good eggs galore, surely, but less of them over time if the trendline tracks that of the wider community. And those that trawl the traffic for left-leaning political activity while ignoring it’s right wing cousin (either by preference or instruction), that participate in technical ops against OWS while giving the Tea Party carte blanche, that bugger up sites like this or David de Graw’s while ignoring the target-rich potential of senior banker correspondence from say late 06 thru early 09… what do they tell their families they do? If they are god botherers, don’t they worry that their god might be bothered by the sins they are committing?

        I guess you’d need a conscience first. Again, look at the wider culture – the behaviour that’s rewarded, and therefore who’s in control. Everyone and everything is bought, why should they differ? People of conscience do not prosper in this culture. Look at Bradley Manning, then consider Obama.

      5. Yves Smith Post author

        The other solution is to not carry your cell phone around much, which is culturally deviant, but what I do a lot.

  4. alex

    re: The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy

    Great article! Attacking reporters is insane. My greatest hope is that TPTB have become too arrogant and so forgotten the first rule of PR: don’t antagonize the press. Even bought-and-paid-for editors may get sick of this and run some good stories about police attacking reporters (possibly in a targeted way), or sympathize a bit more with OWS (I mean the American press – the British press is already covering it).

    And it was discovered that OWS actually has some points. This was ferreted out by the extremely clever reporting technique of actually talking to the protesters. Perhaps this approach could be taught in journalism school.

    “The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics.”

    Hear, hear! These people understand.

    Numbers 2 and 3 are interesting too, especially for the way they show that protesters are pretty sophisticated about these issues. That’s what makes them dangerous.

    1. Glen

      Wolfe’s guardian article is getting quite a bit of push back:

      Honestly, if #OWS continues to grow, I would fully expect a coordinated response from the Feds. After all, it doesn’t take much to see that the Feds are still fully in bed with Wall St on this whole mess. Heck, Geithner could have paid for all the toxic debt that supposedly caused this mess many times over with all the money he’s given to Wall St.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Lee Adler, this used to be called *censorship*, but now it doesn’t stop there. The foundation for the metamorphosis from Third-Fourth Reich on our soil was poured before the end of WWII, then came ReaganBush, Clinton(Bushback), G.H.W. Bush and his obedient son George W. Bush in their turns, and Obama(Bushback) to construct the edifice of the Fourth Reich on our soil, as Agents playing the role of the highest Federal Officer in the land: *President* and *Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces* (COC of the USA according to *the Decider*, George W. Bush).

      *J’ACCUSE* the *Presidents* listed above of the highest TREASON, for while in Office as *President* and *Commander in Chief*, they acted as Agents of the Fourth Reich, thus abusing the power of their Office, for the following purposes: (1) to subvert the Constitution of the U.S.A.; (2) to aid and abet the looting of the U.S. Treasury and the *Social Security lockbox* systematically; (3) to waste the treasure, minds, and bodies of the People through endless wars created to enrich the Reich; (4) and to ruin the government *of, by, and for the People* SO AS TO PROFIT THE REICH at the expense of *We the People*. They facilitated the Fourth Reich Anschluss against our formerly sovereign nation-state through systematic and total infiltration of all three branches of government via the ruse of *Unitary Executive* despotic rule, on behalf of the Fourth Reich; through this means passing such *Enabling Acts* for the erection of Absolute Despotic Rule as Reagan’s *REX 84* and Bushie’s *The P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act*. By their words and deeds WHILE IN OFFICE, they have committed the highest, most egregious and abominable TREASON.

      There is no *Statute of Limitations* on treason. The penalty for treason, stipulated in our Constitution according to the wisdom and foresight of our Founders, is “to be hanged by the neck until dead.” This penalty for treason is one of their prime legacies to *We the People* today, along with freedom of speech and of the press.

      Who will file the Tyrannicide Briefs in 2011? An example of *what to do* is available in print:

      Geoffrey Robertson, “The Tyrannicide Brief: The Story of the Man Who Sent Charles I to the Scaffold” (New York, Random House, Inc., 2005; Anchor Books, 2007).

      Let Occupiers Everywhere cry: “TREASON!”If not now, when?

  5. lambert strether

    On the email: It makes a lot more sense to data mine the mail, rather than stop if from flowing. This was, after all, why the admnistration (including SoS Clinton) was so keen to restore internet service during the Egyptian uprising, after Mubarak shut it down.

    And surely the Stasi is that stupid and clumsy… Then again, who remembers the old story of the American academic on the phone in Cold War Moscow? He’s arranging dinner with a friend, and the KGB guy listening breaks into the conversation to suggest a restaurant. So maybe they are that stupid and clumsy. Sclerotic national security states tend to be.

    On Naomi Wolf in the Guardian: Meh. Your career “progressives” at work, trying to position themselves as interpreters. The tell is this: “unparallelled police brutality.” Well, no. Not to denigrate the Occupiers, but the Civil Rights movement had it far, far worse. That may come, since the powers that be always double down on #FAIL, but we’re not at that point yet.

      1. lambert strether

        Well, then they’re stupid. The value gained from the intel would be greater than the value gained from the harassment. So, good news, really.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      lambert, time for a plug from a *qualified* expert:

      Evgeny Morozov, “THE NET DELUSION: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom” (New York, Public Affairs, 2011).

      Freedom of speech and of the press! Viva NC!
      *Leonova on Point*

  6. anon48

    RE: The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy
    The reporter took an informal (online) survey of Occupy protesters about what it is they really want. The responses, according to the reporter were eye-opening:

    1. Get the money out of politics.
    2. Reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation(Restore Glass- Steagall)
    3. Draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors

    I’ve conducted my own informal survey among friends, clients and colleagues, none of whom happened to be Occupy supporters. They were mostly on the fence/ indifferent. These are people I’ve always considered to be intelligent, reasonable thinkers who are fairly well informed on various issues. Some of them might be classified as part of the top 5% but most are middle class.

    So what were the responses to my query? What did these people think the Occupy protesters wanted?

    1. The protesters were owed a job

    2. The protesters wanted an end to Wall Street/ corporate greed

    3. Numerous other responses (get money out of politics, anti-capitalistic agenda, end the wars, relief from college debts, etc.)

    What’s interesting to me is that any one of the three top responses to the reporter’s survey would be truly worthwhile goals. Further, I think any one of them would resonate with large numbers of people from all walks of life. Unfortunately, the opinions of the OWS movement by people whom I know seemed to be formed by the Occupy Movement label has been most strongly communicated to them. You can almost guess ahead of time whether someone is for, or against, OWS by the label that’s been assigned to the movement in their own mind.

    I purposely use the term “label” because the movement itself has consciously chosen to not adopt any specific purpose, mission or goal. I understand that the organization is trying very hard to develop a fully functioning participatory culture, which if successful, can ignite a blazing passion in its members. Further, my own experience in dealing with NPO organizations over the years is that when there was a flaw in the leadership culture within an NPO organization, it was generally not due to being overly-participative group dynamic. Rather it was because the leadership structure relied too much upon a command and control model located at the other end of the spectrum by failing to win the hearts of employees, members and volunteers.

    The obvious problem is the difficulty in articulating a clear mission for an organization with a totally participatory management structure.

    The people guiding OWS seem to be really smart. My hope is that they’ve already visualized a methodology for narrowing the focus of the movement to a mission that will resonate with a broad swath of society. The failure to do so, will allow others like Newt Gin-grinch to continue to brand them with labels such as the infamous ”take a bath, then get a job” meme.

    My concern is that unless they plan to adjust course at some point, OWS may ultimately win the battle for the hearts of its active members, but still lose the war for influence of the wider community.

    1. Sock Puppet

      The civil rights movement, Ghandi, arab spring, all had clear objectives. Not so OWS. But I think they have started the discussion among wider society, which needs now to discuss and articulate objectives. Let us here do our part to stimulate that discussion among friends and family.

      1. Jef

        Once again all anyone who is not directly involved in the Occupy movement can think of is “so when do they put together a list of issues to give to TPTB so they can do something about it”?

        This shows a profound lack of understanding of the movement.

        Occupiers definitely have a list of grievances, It’s just that they don’t have anyone or any entity to give them to.

        1. anon48

          “Once again all anyone who is not directly involved in the Occupy movement can think of is “so when do they put together a list of issues to give to TPTB so they can do something about it”?”
          Where did it say in the comment that OWS should “put together a list of issues to give to TPTB” ?

          “This shows a profound lack of understanding of the movement.”

          Agreed- I can’t say what they’re about because they have not yet articulated a central purpose themselves. The point of the comment was that there are many other people out there (who are also not directly involved) who seem to be influenced by pundits outside OWS. And that influence is not a positive one. Ultimately, the way The broader community see things will determine the effectiveness of the movement.

          “Occupiers definitely have a list of grievances, It’s just that they don’t have anyone or any entity to give them to.”

          Is this a fact? Do you have inside knowledge? Or are you just speculating?

          Truth is, I don’t know with certainty what the correct approach should be-m whether they should narrow their focus or what. I do understand the feedback I get from other people. And based upon that feedback, from my perspective, there is at least some reason for concern.

          1. lambert strether

            Let me do a little translation:

            Powers that be say: “What are their demands?”

            Translation: “What’s the bribe?”

            Powers that be say: “Who are their leaders?”

            Translation: “Who can we bribe and/or kill?”

            Note that this applies to the career “progressive” POTB like Wolf just as much as the rest of the 1% and their shills. It applies even more to the career “progressive” [cough Daily Kos cough, cough MoveOn cough] whose business model is to sell electoral services. Lotta petition revenue from clickthroughs vanishing into the air at those Occupations, gotta do something about that, Chris…

            The Occupiers are smart to focus on holding space and focusing on process. Lack of public space for democracy, and lack of process for democracy are, after all, salient features of our current plight.

          2. anon48

            Identifying a purpose does not equal making demands

            Uncovering a mission for a group is also different than formulating demands.

            A mission or purpose is created first for internal purposes. If done well it can become something around which the troops can rally. It can also become a magnet that draws many others to your cause. It can also make clear those things to which you, as an organization, should say no. If they choose to do so, OWS should do it not for the purpose of satisfying anyone else,but rather to clarify their own cause.

            Making demands implies knowing beforehand exactly to whom they should be addressed. That would seem to have to wait until sometime down the road- if needed at all.

        2. Sock Puppet

          My point is that we are ALL the 99%. OWS is smart not to be trapped into legitimizing the 1% by demanding that they fix thngs for us, despite the attempts by faux progressives to have them do that.
          We ALL need to figure out how to move forward together. Expecting OWS to do it for us is as lame as expecting the 1% to do it.
          OWS has opened the door. It’s up to the rest of us to walk through it.
          We are so used to TPTB framing the debate. OWS has shown that we don’t have to do that. Just hoping we can learn.

    2. Dave of Maryland

      There are few social problems that cannot be solved by giving ordinary people scads of money. One way or another. Bribes, but hey, who’s looking?

      The best bribes are in exchange for some sort of “work”, as Mr. Gingrich knows all too well, and the best “work” is some sort of feather-bedded 40 hour a week position, as widely practiced in the old Soviet Union.

      In either case, uncontrolled greed is the antithesis of social harmony and only idiot rulers ever forget that.

    3. aletheia33

      i would urge patience with the opposition to the status quo. it is early days yet. OWS may morph. societal conditions will deteriorate. venality will persist in the face of its own obvious unsustainability. elites do not learn, they keep doing what’s worked until it stops working, and then they keep on doing it.

      resources will contract. climate will change. our constitution will be further trampled. it’s anyone’s guess what will unfold over the next 10 years, but we can know it’s not going to be pretty. it will take awhile for a sufficient number to awaken to this reality. many people will pull their heads from the sand only when they’re about to completely suffocate.

      thus, the opposition to the status quo has plenty of time to build and grow. it won’t happen overnight. that there are folks already building now and considering what might be of use is a great cause for some hope–the only one i have right now. for the opposition movement to build slowly is probably best–it’s going to be a long, impossible fight against terrible odds.

      camping out in 35 degrees on pavement and learning to live homeless is good practice for that. what could be better to do than what OWS is doing right now–incubating multiple, self-responsible, devoted leaders and helping the worst off of the worst off in whatever way they can. OWS is perhaps more than anything a school and training ground.

      walking from nyc to dc 30 miles a day with bloody, torn-up feet, getting knocked around by riot police, these are just what is needed to train for the battles to come. my partner says it’s heartless for me to say so. i say, it’s reality.

      i trust this movement. the army of the heart.

      1. lambert strether

        Yep. Occupy, we all hope, is for the long haul. With respect to the “Finally! Demands!” crowd: The dogs bark, and the caravan moves on.

      2. anon48

        I hear what you’re saying- girding one’s loins for battle.

        MLK led a movement that took decades, to sway society’s opinions about Civil Rights. The Vietnam anti-war movement took less time because much the MSM eventually came around to seeing things from the point of view of the protesters.

        But that still took many years to achieve ultimate success.
        And while today’s MSM harkens back more to the 50’s, in its refusal to challenge the status quo, technology, the internet and mobile devices have accelerated the influencing process to microseconds(witness the speed and effectiveness of the Arab spring movements).

        The point is there may not be as much time for taking action as you think. Influence can also be a two edged word.

    4. Paul Tioxon

      From Dissent Magazine, writing about the Occupy Movement:

      “This is the standard complaint about the Occupy movements: they don’t offer any solutions. Occupiers are, instead, speaking truth to power. They are doing it well, doing it day after day, and are teaching the media how to do it, too. Asking occupiers to provide solutions to our problems is a bizarre request. We have a president, a vice president, fifteen cabinet members, Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke, a council of economic advisors, 535 legislators with thousands of researchers and aides, and a $3.7 trillion budget. It’s their job to fix the problems. It’s a discouraging sign about the state of America if people expect these dedicated protesters—many of them young, swamped with college debt, unemployed, or marginalized—to know how to fix the mess that Wall Street and the government have made over the years. The occupiers’ tent cities, at least until they’re broken up, embody the consequences of government policies day after day, so none of us can forget how badly our government has failed us.”

      This is a critical point to remember, that the people who are paid to know, who make their living on Wall St speculation with the most sophisticated level of informed decision making did not know, along with a US Federal Government apparatus with its trillions of dollars in budgeted resources, also did not know what was going on and now, almost 4 years after the event still can not put together meaningful policies to clean up the mess they enabled and together created.

      OWS has evolved, as have other tent protest communities. In the course of bringing action to the bank branches, the homes of the wealthy, the bridges in need of repair and dozens of other issues that can be seen by the public out on the street, the homeless, the mentally ill, the just got released from jail have been attracted to and swelled the ranks and disorder of some of these sites.

      In Philly, there is an eviction for 5PM today, Sunday Nov 27. Many will have to find alternative sites, as they are among the homeless who would have been evicted anyway by the long planned for, stimulus funded mass transit and public park reconstruction of the City Hall courtyard. In NYC, also, there are a lot of homeless who have joined the protests, along with other problematic people who have drug and alcohol problems along with mental health issues. Those who like clearly delineated political activity with powerpoint presentations are mystified by the gatherings to a greater or less degree. Here is another longer piece from Dissent about what the political action plan for the future could hold for OWS.

  7. lambert strether

    And what I want to know is why none of the campers on the private property in front of Best Buy were beaten, pepper sprayed, and arrested. Just saying.

    1. David Clay

      Hey Lambert:

      What I’d like to know is what has happened to CorrenteWire…I haven’t been able to access it since a week ago when you started your weekend relief here for Yves.

      1. lambert strether

        The problems were not technical, and also have nothing to do with my stint at NC. Hopefully, this will be resolved today as fast as PayPal can transfer…

        Thanks for asking!

    2. nihil obstet

      Like David Clay, I’d like to know what’s going on with Corrente. I have not been able to get to it for a week.

  8. lambert strether

    Violence, Pepper Spray…. I love the way the narrative our famously free press is constructing identifies shoppers and Occupiers. They wish. One of the great leads of our time from Reuters:

    Black Friday turned into a black mark against American shoppers as riotous crowds brawled over video games, waffle irons and towels, drawing international condemnation and even raising questions about the state of humanity.

    Oh, the humanity!

    1. eclair

      Yeah, and if we brawl like this over waffle iron, video games, and towels, I shudder to imagine the fights over access to clean water and food.

  9. mrmetrowest

    Yves – your mail symptoms are very likely caused by one of the dns servers listed as authoritative for malfunctioning. ns1 and provide the right resolution when queried, however fails. People whose queries happen to be sent to will have their mail bounce. I did not test ns4 or ns5.

    I’m guessing the problem is at

    1. Jason Boxman

      What did you check? I get the same MX records for ns1 .. ns5.

      What always puzzled me is why is no longer an A record. Many ages ago, it was either an A or CNAME. I’ve always setup my domains as an A, then CNAME www or whatever.

      In any case, the bounces would be most instructive.

  10. Susan the other

    Whatever Happened to DSK is a great read. The maid going in and out of room 2820, once before and once after the encounter with DSK, which room has probably always been used for surveillance as it is adjacent to the presidential suite; his missing cell phone; and the other details. I’m wondering where the info is I stumbled on to do with NYPD police chief (?) going to France frequently to meet with Sarko. This account sounds like it was a strictly French operation. Somehow I do not believe that.

  11. David R

    dubious that a problem with email is hacking… As somebody else said, if they were that sophisticated, they would just be reading your mail…

    It’s probably just a temporary gmail issue; I did notice that your DNS setup has fewer servers set than they recommend these days. If one mx (mail receiving) server is down or unreachable, the sender is supposed to try the next one, and so on. Compare your mx record list to mine (hopefully it lets me post these links):

    Not sure if that would prevent this problem, but it’s probably worth adding the extra records anyway.

    1. howard g

      Nono don’t do that (multiple mx). It just increases failure pts in the path to the gmail.

      Yves/other geeks: Is dynamic dns essential for the operations? ISTM the top level zone would be more consistent and controllable if served through conventional swervers as much as possible. I can help, gratis with this as a secondary or primary… works for out of band contact.

      Re the bounce please post one.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Thanks! I knew technically skilled NC readers would be able to trouble shoot.

        This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification



        Delivery to the following recipient has been delayed:

        Message will be retried for 2 more day(s)

        Technical details of temporary failure:
        Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 452 452-4.2.2 The email account that you tried to reach is over quota. Please direct
        452-4.2.2 the recipient to
        452 4.2.2 x14si1483481vcv.55 (state 14).

        —– Original message —–

        MIME-Version: 1.0
        Received: by with SMTP id a11mr30656314vdg.1.1322147758581; Thu,
        24 Nov 2011 07:15:58 -0800 (PST)
        Received: by with HTTP; Thu, 24 Nov 2011 07:15:58 -0800 (PST)
        References: <>

        Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2011 15:15:58 +0000
        To: Yves Smith
        Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=20cf307811807da60e04b27c8398

        1. howard g

          That one’s is actually not (yet) a bounce (the 4XX status code is a temporary failure). Not all mail transfer agents generate the temporary failure.

          The cited email should eventually show up. Perhaps even in duplicate because of the multiple MXs…

        2. howard g

          Also, if the failure message can be trusted then the target email account is over quota and some people are going to see real bounces depending on how long the retry time is set on their mail server and how long it takes to get under the quota.

          I had this problem with a gmail account too, it seemed hard to make room even after a lot of stuff was deleted. The fix was to go into the deleted folder and delete it again because this time I really truly meant it

      2. Jason Boxman

        Why is that? Google explicitly recommends you include the alternate MX records; provided you use the suggested MX priorities, there is no reason to assume any trouble will result.

        There should always be at least one backup MX; Google simply provides several.

        1. howard g

          Agreed. Follow gmail’s recommendations for gmail. Simply counting possible points of failure probably doesn’t make sense when the destination is somewhere in a cloud

  12. Max424

    Naomi Wolf: “our own national leaders … are now making war upon us.”

    Yeah, they are, and have been for some time, and they’re winning the war in crushing fashion.

    And that’s what’s so galling; the ease with which we are being rolled. Now, only the blind optimists (crazy people) believe there is still a glimmer of hope; pointing out that the all-mighty, not quite all-pervasive propaganda machine has an exploitable leak — the internet.

    This is true, but the internet represents only a relatively small leak in a vast machine, and a small leak, in my experience, can either be plugged, or ignored.* It don’t make much difference.

    Note: I tell young people all the time; give it up man, acquiesce, and become a corpo-fascist stooge. Tap your ruthless inner-core, if you have one, and if you don’t, pretend you do, and get an early bird start on the ladder climb; because the new career choices the United States of Debt-Slavery are, you can either be the maker, or the consumer, of the Big Shit Sandwich.

    That’s it. Now which do you want to be?

    * Let the whiners tweet — their collective misery — to their heart’s content.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Max424, you got it. It’s *winner take all unto death* in the system we’ve got. BUT *suffering humanity* has been there before.

      Simon Schama’s book: “CITIZENS”; article: “Sharpening the Guillotines.”

      History shows that the machine has a *breaking point*. But sure, go ahead and teach the kids to be monsters, hey, *that’s life, no?* Do you admit this with pride or disgust?

      1. Max424

        “Do you admit this (that you teach young people to become monsters) with pride or disgust?”

        Neither. Resignation.

        Usually, the Monster Speech comes after the Rage Against the Machine — While You Save Your Money! — Speech. Unfortunately, The Rage and Save Speech mostly falls on deaf ears, and when it does, I move on and systematically spell out other more “pragmatic” options.

        “History shows that the machine has a *breaking point*.”

        Sure it does, although which generation the breaking point occurs in can vary wildly.

        Will our great-great grandchildren be free from this particular machine? I don’t think so. I think this well-oiled monster is set to run on autopilot for dozens of generations.

        If fact, I think we are witnessing dawning of a new era, the Era of Corpo-Fascists, to be quickly followed by, The Era of the Slave-Traders, which should last for many centuries.

        But this era too will pass, as all things do. And that’s the good news.

      1. Max424

        I do, I tell our young people: Become entrepreneurs! Whether you want to be entrepreneurs or not, become one!

        And should you fail at entrepreneurship (should your hot-dog stand collapse, God forbid!), remember, there is always a fall back career; crime!

        Because crime in this country pays (it’s one of the few things that does), and as we have all learned, the greater the crime you commit, the more handsome the payout your receive!

        So think big, young people!

        (Engage the criminality at your inner-core, and become a bookie, or a financial engineer* — is my basic message)

        * Same thing, btw, for those that don’t know what either is.

        1. Maximilien

          (Engage the criminality at your inner-core, and become a bookie, or a financial engineer* — is my basic message)

          Ill-chosen example, Max424. I am good friends with a bookie. He is not a criminal and he doesn’t break legs. He provides a service that some people seem to want and are willing to pay for.

          No problems with your other example, though.

          1. Max424

            “[A bookie] is not a criminal and he doesn’t break legs.”

            Never known a professional bookie (and I’ve known dozens) who didn’t have muscle behind him.

            Does the muscle break legs? Fuck no. That’s an urban legend. Bookies want you healthy. They want you to have a great job. You are a worm wriggling on a hook, and the stronger the worm, the longer it can wriggle; and pay out.

            What the muscle does, is they knock on Joey’s door, and politely ask, “Joey, would you mind it, awfully, if we walked off with your 42 inch flat screen?”

            Now if Joey refuses, that’s when the situation gets a little ticklish. That’s when Joey finds that no matter where he parks, when he comes out, his front left tire has a small hole in it, almost as if someone had punctured it with an ice pick. And that’s when Joey decides to part with his flat screen.

            “[Bookies] provide a service …”

            Yeah they do, and that service is to rob you.

            My message to young people:

            Don’t gamble if you don’t know how. Don’t play scratch tickets, Keno, Quick Draw, and the Lotto. DON’T play the horses. NEVER enter a casino (unless your there to see Engelbert Humperdink). Most importantly, NEVER, EVER, place bets with a bookie.

            The Number One Rule of (Professional) Gambling is: You can’t beat the vig. If you bet against the book, you will go broke.

            If you have a yen to gamble, that can never be assuaged, then take up a SKILLED trade, like shooting pool, or playing poker.

            Then hone that skill, through thousands of hours of practice. Then, and only then, may you go forth and gamble.

  13. Cal

    Black Friday is about trying to get the 99% to imagine
    they are the 1% by going further into debt purchasing tomorrow’s landfill before any of their neighbors do.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Cal, perfect: *The American Dream* writ small.

      Camus’s “Juge-penitent” expounds on “La reve…” globally in “La Chute”/”The Fall.” I have Camus on tape narrating this scene, illustrating his chops as an actor in the best French tradition.

  14. SR6719

    Bureau of Public Secrets: The Situationists and the Occupation Movements (1968/2011):

    “…..I have examined Mr. Kamiya’s article here not because what he says about the situationists [and their influence on OWS] has any particular significance, but simply because it happens to be among the first examples of the sort of thing we can expect to see in the coming months as media commentators attempt to get their tiny minds around this strange phenomenon in order to reassure their readers and viewers: “Don’t worry, we’ve got this covered, we’ve already read this stuff so you don’t have to and we can assure you that these situationists are of no significance, they’re just some sort of zany cultural pranksters, or ivory-tower theorists, or grim radical dogmatists, or stuffy academic propagandists, or loony utopian dreamers, or irresponsible vandals, or something . . . . Anyway, whatever they are, there’s nothing to see here. Move on…..”

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      “their tiny minds” – precisely, SR6719, and you’ve nailed their pathetic self-serving strategy for self-promotion and self-aggrandisement. Bravo!

      We must stand *en garde* in the presence of such academic B.S. meant to box the movement and credit the overlords.

  15. Cal


    My .02 on Gmail.

    It might have to do something with spam filters and your choice of settings. If you really want frustration and horrible results, get a Yahoo account.

  16. scraping_by

    RE: Oregonian Buries

    The massive police presence at the Occupy camps is, as has been noted, intimidation against free speech, and against fair news coverage, and against expanded numbers of protesters. It’s also useful as scene-dressing for the media drama of “defending civilzation”.

    Most middle class suburban people’s first hand knowledge of police and police work comes from fictional stories on TV. Attractive, well-dressed detectives searching out people who admit thier guilt is a whole different matter from attacking objections to the skewed economic system. The very idea that people like them are being clubbed and pepper sprayed just isn’t part of their mental furniture.

    The conflation of dissent = chaos is a base assumption of the media world. The picture of large groups of uniformed men (where are the women here?) roaming the streets with weapons hunting down citizens who hold a certain opinion needs little slanting to become a good guys/bad guys mellodrama. It’s theatre, but polls and people-to-people discussions show the moral of the play is changing in the hearts and minds of the American public.

      1. scraping_by

        Der Große Lüge or das Große Lüge?

        (My German grandmas wanted to Americanize.)

        The Big Lie for the Visual Age. Pictoral spin. The reality distortion field of the MSM is a still shot.

        Yeah, works for me.

    1. avg cityzen

      I agree scraping_by, when I get a hankerin’ for Law and Order (usually after reading NC), I watch it on TV. I’m glad they’re not writing new ones anymore, I’d have to stop watching if they wrote one about OWS in NY ’cause I know they’d eff it up and I wouldn’t be able to suspend my dis-belief anymore.

  17. larry

    I had a message from the email system that told me that one of your email accounts was over quota. It wasn’t in regard to one of the accounts one of the commenters tested. Hope this helps. Though it probably won’t.

  18. Ron

    The financial media’s ability to create PR stories for customer benefit seems endless only the military/CIA is more outrageous but at least they have a long history of media
    management. We are asked to believe that McKinsey consultants were shocked by one of their own used insider information for financial gain. I thought this article was an Onion joke but no just more financial media B.S. A bit from the article:

    “You can’t underestimate the shock, the disbelief and anger there,” recalls one McKinsey veteran. As Dominic Barton, the Firm’s personable global managing director, brought the opening plenary session to order, the older partners were “completely ashen-faced”, the same person recalls.”

    1. scraping_by

      The traditional distinction between advertising and public relations is that advertising pays for its media space while PR manages to get it for free. When the media is partly or wholly owned by or obligated to a company, an individual, or an industry, and the finance industry has leverage on everyone, it sort of blurs the distinction.

      From the outside, it all looks like insider trading. Getting the outraged morality picture into the public mind is good self defense. Especially for a firm most workers associate with downsizing (with apologies to our esteemed hostess).

  19. Joel3000

    WRT to Australian immunization law:

    We chose to reduce our child’s immunization set to a minimum. All her cousins have had the full schedule. Our kid almost never gets sick and does not have any obvious learning disabilities. Everyone of her cousins
    has had multiple ear infections and have either been diagnosed with learning disabilities or looks to be on the way.

    The fact is that vaccines contain neurotoxic adjuvants that can attain significant volume across the full vaccination schedule of 70+ injections. Especially in combination with the other environmental insults that are especially harmful to growing children.

    When I grew up in the 60s and 70s there were many fewer shots and things were fine. We weren’t all dying in the streets of infectious diseases. Meanwhile no one is allowed to ask, in peer reviewed research, when the jabs do more harm than good.

    Soon enough the pro-vax troll will be by to challenge me with insults and threats about here immunity and how terrible disease X is and how we’re killing immuno compromised children. To this I will respond that I am a PhD researcher in scientific policy analysis. Show me the good research that says the volume of vaccinations kids are given now does more good than harm for anyone other than big pharma and the vax research establishment. That does not mean throwing a thousands crappy papers financed by the industry. It means setting the research agenda such that the real questions can be asked without fear of the wrong answers coming up.

    Finally, do not forget that you are the ultimate owner of your body. When the state can order you to take a pill or a shot at their pleasure you have effectively lost sovereignty over your body. The state can kill you, quickly or slowly, by forcing you to ingest whatever it is they want. In fact the term “herd immunity” itself suggests owned, domesticated, animals ( wild herds are not usually immunized).

    Medication without adequate explanation is tyranny. Occupy you body.

    1. F. Beard

      I don’t understand forced vaccination. If one does not want his kids to catch a disease from my kids then just vaccinate his own kids and forget about mine.

      [to vaccine-Nazis – I don’t have any kids so spare me :) ]

    2. Teddy

      This isn’t forced vaccination. It’s ensuring that the incentives/rewards (via tax benefit) for vaccination are tied to actually doing the vaccinations. There’s no penalty for not vaccinating your children in this policy shift, just no reward.

      As an Australian taxpayer I feel this is appropriate policy. Why should the government pay (via tax benefit) a vaccination tax deduction if the parent’s choose to exercise their discretion by not vaccinating?

  20. barrisj

    Re: “Black Friday” – well, the usual carnage at Wal-Marts across the country…shoppers are even toting pepper-spray containers to disperse fellow shoppers away from on-sale goods! Absolutely fabulous stuff, as the lumpen battle each other to grab cheap Chinese-made stuff at discounted prices, while the “1%” get instant entertainment value from vids of the proles rioting. What a commentary on late-capitalism and the desperation of low-income consumers to add their pennies and dollars to GDP…there has to be a documentary film in all this, as each year these “Black Friday” shopping scrums get worse, as “the consumer” has less and less to spend, and people seemingly will kill to make off with goods at mark-down prices and limited supply.

  21. Nimrod

    My DSK theory:

    DSK’s room was bugged; a listening post was set up in Rm. 1820. His call to his wife about the bugged Blackberry was overheard. They waited until DSK was in the shower and then dispatched the room service worker to grab the blackberry, lest the bug be discovered. He entered the room at 12:05. DSK finished his shower before the room service worker had completed his mission, so the maid was sent into the room to create a diversion and keep DSK occupied for a few minutes. She did so by propositioning him. DSK, being DSK, of course obliged. When she came out and reported to room 1820, her handlers decided to report it as a sexual assault to disgrace DSK. The rest is le histoire as they say in Francais.

    1. Jackrabbit

      DSK’s defense hinges on the Blackberry’s being bugged. Since the Blackberry is not available. It seems that we need to hear from the person that informed DSK that his private communications were being intercepted by the rival political party (Sarkozy’s political party).

      It seems to me that whomever that is would have some incentive to do so as they may be in some personal jeopardy until and unless they come forward.

      1. Jackrabbit

        This was poorly worded. DSK’s defense doesn’t actually “hinge on the Blackberry,” because the maid was found to be not credible.

        Nevertheless, allegation that the “IMF Blackberry” was bugged is important to the case (now a civil case because she is suing him) and obviously has wider implications both for the French government and for DSK himself.

  22. Patrice

    “The books at Zuccotti Park were hauled away in dumpsters belonging to the sanitation department. The pretext of the destruction was “cleaning” the park which, the Mayor said, was filled with “filth”. This is the rhetoric of Mein Kampf….”

    …Nowadays the 1% expect all the respect, as if money conferred it, while we, the 99%, are degraded and devalued. Our wealth is not filthy lucre. Our wealth consists of ideas, it consists of our books, it consists of our prefigurments in our relations with one another…”

    1. tom allen

      Julius Caesar and Rome had the world on a platter in 48 BC. Then he “accidentally” burned down the library of Alexandria. But I’m sure THAT had nothing to do with the subsequent decline and fall of the Empire, either as cause or portent, right?

  23. Latrina Rocray

    I have yet to use ebay as a monetization strategy but hope to this year. I understand there are some great ways to integrate ebay with wordpress and earn money in the process.

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