Links 12/2/11

Indian farmers dump bags of snakes in tax office Associated Press (hat tip reader Aquifer)

How animals predict earthquakes BBC

Thawing permafrost vents gases to worsen warming Associated Press (hat tip reader Aquifer)

Caution: Red Light Cameras Ahead US PIRG (hat tip reader 1 SK). From the end of October, but still worth reading.

Nielsen report: TV ownership declines Inside TV

You are all wrong, printing money can halt Europe’s crisis Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Killing the Euro Paul Krugman, New York Times

British banks could ask taxpayers for more cash Telegraph

Europe’s Lenders Find Branch Trumps a Unit Wall Street Journal

Sweden and the euro: Out and happy
Economist (hat tip reader Swedish Lex) Visby is looking better all the time….

CEOs’ crusade is a howl of frustration with Washington Gillian Tett, Financial Times. The article is better than the headline

The Media’s Blackout Of The National Defense Authorization Act Is Shameful Clusterstock (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Senate Wants the Military to Lock You Up Without Trial Wired (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Mayor Bloomberg: ‘I Have My Own Army’ PolitickerNY (hat tip reader bob)

For Jobless, Little Hope of Restoring Better Days New York Times

DANGEROUS JAILS, Part 2: Ignoring the Warnings WitnessLA. This is the jail where eXiled writer Yasha Levine is being held.

L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa Puts Occupy L.A. Price Tag at Over $1 Million; City Spent More Than That on Michael Jackson Memorial LA Weekly (hat tip Lambert Strether)

San Diego police arrest congressional candidate for voter registration in Civic Center Plaza BoingBoing

Fracking, Mortgages and Insurance Public Citizen (hat tip reader 1 SK)

Inside the Coakley Foreclosure Fraud Lawsuit Dave Dayen, Firedoglake

MF Global accessed client funds for weeks Financial Times. Holy shit. If Corzine does not go to jail, something is very wrong with this picture. He signed Sarbox certifications that his internal controls were in order.

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Rex

    “tax officials withheld the files for weeks while allegedly demanding bribes.”

    The people responded, “Let them beat snakes.”

    1. tyaresun

      The inflation in India is pretty bad. This is on top of the corporate encroachment of agriculture in India. A frustrated farmer slapped the powerful Union agriculture minister last week and created a huge media frenzy.

  2. Rex

    “Those heat-trapping gases under the frozen Arctic ground may be a bigger factor in global warming than the cutting down of forests, and a scenario that climate scientists hadn’t quite accounted for, according to a group of permafrost experts.”

    I don’t have a link to confirm it, but I remember reading about this likelihood some time ago. So I question the statement, “a scenario that climate scientists hadn’t quite accounted for.”

    Seems to me, I remember it in the context of a tipping point.

    1. tom allen

      Sort of like the melting of polar icecaps or the collapse of the euro. Totally ridiculous until it happens, after which everyone will ask why nobody warned you about it.

    2. BondsOfSteel

      Yes, I’ve heard this concern before too. I wonder if they mean it’s not accurately accounted in the models? They dumb down these articles so it’s hard to tell.

      BTW, I feel anthropogenic climate change is a challenge that we as humans are not ready to overcome. Those of us who can see ahead should be planning on the dystopic future that lies ahead:

      The Durban talks are worse than the Greek rescue, and MLEC combinded.

      1. watercarrier4diogenes

        It’s mainly just that where the information has been put out there, it’s been ignored by our erstwhile media. One writer has been particularly good at collecting and summarizing what is known and what is projected based on those knowns.

        Mark Lynas

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Heat trapping gases are like Tynenol – a little is harmless enough; too much, it can kill you.

      1. John M

        Actually, not like Tylenol. In the case of heat-trapping gasses, too little is probably as bad as too much. We need a certain amount. The problem is that we’re getting way too much now.

  3. craazyman

    A Bankster World Diorama in 4 Dimensions, #39b

    They passed through the city at noon of the day following. He kept the pistol to hand on the folded tarp on top of the cart. He kept the boy close to his side. The city was mostly burned. No sign of life. Cars in the streets caked with ash, everything covered with ash and dust. Fossil tracks in the dried sludge. A corpse in a doorway dried to leather. Grimacing at the day. He pulled the boy closer. Just remember that the things you put into your head are there forever, he said. You might want to think about that.

    -Cormac McCarthy, THE ROAD, Vintage International, pg. 12

    1. Glenn Condell

      Most. Depressing. Book. Ever. Finished it with tears in my eyes. Kunstler’s World Made By Hand and even Crace’s The Pesthouse are utopian by comparison. Unfortunately however, they aren’t quite as convincing as McCarthy.

  4. Rex

    “This month Erskine Bowles – the American political figure who co-headed a bipartisan fiscal panel last year – is launching a desperate new crusade.”

    “Or as one CEO of a global group says: “I am an American – I personally root for the US. But a majority of my [senior staff] are not. So am I supposed to serve the US?” American companies might spend heavily to lobby special interests; but it is unclear whether they have similar incentive to change wider American policies. Faced with an economic mess, it might be easier for CEOs to shift operations out of the US instead.”

    Or, to paraphrase, “Let them eat cat food.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In view of the massive apiarian die-off, it would be nice if we could have at least one bee antidote.

      It’s also interesting to observe that as bees continue to die off, more humans are becoming workerbee-like in order to support the queen (call me the 1%) bee.

      Thus, instead of A nations, we have more B nations.

      Not only that, some former Frist World nations are now, no, not Third World nations, but Fifth or Sixth World nations (Fourth World nations are for ‘journalists’ only).

  5. Union Member

    Debt and Democracy: Has the link Been Broken?
    Language is so powerful – even deceptive language can reveal horrible truths. The term “Sovereign Debt” should alarm evereyone. In a Democracy – by definition – it is the People who are the Sovereign.

      1. Union Member

        When it’s called Sovereign Wealth, it’stax cuts for the rich and powerful; when it’s called Sovereign Debt, it’s austerity for the People (and Society)

  6. lloyd blankstein

    “Holy shit. If Corzine does not go to jail, something is very wrong with this picture. He signed Sarbox certifications that his internal controls were in order.”

    I agree with Brian that Corzine has done nothing wrong until it is convincingly proven in court. Even if the court calls him guilty, I won’t believe the court decision and call the judge partisan and legal system biased.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Careful, lloyd, those who don’t know you will quote you and say: “See! he’s one of us!” They are literalists, ya know.

      1. patricia

        Or simply humorless. Well, actually, they do have a sense of humor but it’s stuck in the 10-yr old boy “poop/sex” stage.

        This is why we know that our very own (lower-case) lloyd blankstein is either the genius behind the whole scene or else he’s too smart to be involved at all. Either way, I bow before his greatness.

  7. Tertium Squid

    All the media talk is about the reduction in the unemployment rate and corresponding rise in market prices.

    Since the actual participation rate went down by hundreds of thousands, I’m not sure why that’s good news.

    But the words going through my head all morning are, “surplus population…surplus population”.

    “I wish to be left alone,” said Scrooge. “Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned—they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there.”

    “Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”

    “If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population…”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I wonder if #OWC will reject fiat money printed by the bank cartel and accept not their money, but only ‘time and materials.’

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I like the barter in the animal kingdom about bartering leftover pigs.

          Speaking of leftovers, is that true that one can make ‘leftover Christmas wishes’ into New Year resolutions?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            For Christmas, I wish for Santa to impart this piece of knowledge to a deserving party – I want my bank to know that the more money they lend me, the bigger their assets and if I can’t pay, just lend me more so that their assets can get even bigger – that’s my wish.

            If that wish does not get consummated and turns into a leftover, it then becomes my New Year resolution to educate my bank so they are educated enough to comprehend that.

          1. Valissa

            To print, or not to print, that is the question:
            Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to let loose
            The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
            Or to take Alms against a Sea of troubles…

  8. aeolius

    I have written the NYS AG urging him to file a suit similar to the Coakley one.
    I invite others to contact their state AG’s and urge them to action now to open as it were a second front against the Banks and MERS.
    The more suits against them, the higher the chance of breaking open the MERS defense.

      1. KnotRP

        In case you are wondering, the Republican Candidates are the emperor, and the MSM are the guards and population having fun at the emperor’s expense. Of course, the average working stiff voter gets crucified in the end…..but one should always look on the bright side of life.

    1. JTFaraday

      “So the US elections are a reality show after all, a pseudo-political counterpart to the Paris Hiltons, Kim Kardashians and all the “American Idol” and “X Factor” contestants littering today’s TV.”

      Sounds about right.

  9. Black Smith

    No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in manner to be prescribed by law.

  10. barrisj

    More lunacy from Republicans in the Senate: in their version of the payroll tax reduction, they want to impose swingeing entitlement cuts on people earning over $1m a year by denying them their food-stamp and Medicare benefits. Holy Moley, now THAT’S what I call income redistribution! Socialism lives!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Am I reading this right – people making over 1M a year shouldn’t have their food-stamp cut?

      1. barrisj

        Am I reading this right – people making over 1M a year shouldn’t have their food-stamp cut?
        Umm, exactly what part of this post troubles you – the actual Republican proposal, or my tongue-firmly-inserted-in-cheek comments in reaction to it? Hope it’s the former and not the latter!

  11. MichaelC

    Re Mf Global and SOX

    see Mr. Corzine and His Regulators

    ” the duo (Corzine and Gensler) had helped to write the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley law that was also supposed to protect investors.”

    And this

    ” MF Global customers are still waiting to be made whole, but the larger importance of this story relates to the effectiveness of the Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley regulatory model. Americans have been told that, in response to the 2008 financial crisis that regulators failed to predict or prevent, regulators needed to have vast new powers to prevent the next crisis. But in MF Global the regulators failed the law’s first serious test.

    MF Global also shows how this new era of regulatory power puts a premium on political connections. Mr. Corzine was named CEO of the company in part—maybe in substantial part—because he had close ties to regulators and could help MF Global navigate the many new rules. This is the new financial crony capitalism, and it also failed its first test. The mistake is to believe in regulator prescience, as opposed to simpler, straightforward rules on, say, leverage or capital.”

  12. kevinearick

    Psychographic Programming/Control: How It Works

    Corporation is not nearly so good at programming you as you may have led yourself to believe. It may only program you on the margin, but it has done so for several thousand years, embedding the result into DNA with the evolution of social psychology.

    You are a transmitter/receiver (extrovert) or a receiver/transmitter (introvert), and social psychology shorts/insulates human DNA from others. That event horizon is multiplexed into an event horizon of event horizons. Corporation shorts environmental fight/flight.

    The short is not permanent and you may modify the associated DNA connections controlling your cognitive map in real time. Most shorts cover 3 generations which is why one generation makes it, one manages it, and one blows it. The AC cycle is roughly 7 generations.

    Everything about you, the perceptions of how you look, talk, act, etc, is part of the complex. Corporation guides individuals into aggregated event horizons with the Pavlov swap from birth. Through IBM and others, across the university system, legacy interests invest heavily in the process, but, as you can now see in the evolving economy, they can only hold back the future for so long, due to the equal and opposing force building a new event horizon beyond the social shorts.

    In the black hole, you must lie and are rewarded for lying. Lie, just don’t get caught, and if you get caught, make sure you are well embedded in the legacy system. Relatively, those crossing the shorts to pursue environmental adaptation, seeking truth, are heavily penalized by social groupthink, distilling intelligence in the process.

    Intelligence naturally migrates away into a temporarily unseen dimension, until profit of revelation reaches the required threshold, when fear of total economic collapse exceeds fear of disobeying social normalization. Each event horizon has its own threshold value, and all must be brought to the precipice to catalyze real social change. It is not a negotiation.

    For those who still cannot see the new event horizon, take note of the voices in your head, verbalize them with someone you trust from another event horizon, and compare outcomes from the self-fulfilling prophesies, to recognize additional event horizons.

    When you walk into a bar/grocery/human meat market, the social environment is specifically shorted to the outcome. As a beginner, decide what you must accomplish before entering, do not deviate regardless of the resulting voices once inside, and then adjust for a recycle after exit. Re-enter only as necessary.

    Humanity is about to make a quantum leap in cognitive capability, from few participating in economic growth to many, as a percentage. The absolute size of the population brought along for the ride will depend upon how many choose to participate. You don’t have to become Einstein; just assist the children in your environment, to form the necessary bond.

    The root is already well established and the trunk, self-directed learning, is growing exponentially. Next comes the branches and the leaves. Once the tree of learning is complete, the tree of knowledge will catalyze fruit on the other side of the looking glass. As always, the politicians busy themselves with make-work.

    DNA is a double helix for a reason. Joseph and the technicolor dreamcoat is a calico male. The truth is the unknown. Seek and you shall find. Anxiety seeks to preserve the lies of History, which is why it may not be carried forward. Dump sunk costs accordingly.

    If you must live in the past, think of a time when your mind was flexible. Recreate that wave of emotion with the new facts as you find them. The vast majority of government exists at the local level. Reduce its size until it disengages from State control, and then reduce it relatively on the margin to reach equilibrium. Corporation is just gravity; no one is in charge. The participants just compete for position in the parade.

    Psychographic control tunes the environment, you are a transmitter/receiver, you can train your subconscious, and social DNA shorts can be modified in real time. You walk into a movie cinema with snow on the screen. Each group is trained to view a different show. Tune out the past and tune in the future. The latter is open source.

  13. barrisj

    Re: Senate Defense Authorization Bill and the Levin-McCain indefinite detention amendment…Marcy at the Emptywheel blogsite has been ALL over this story from the inception, and what she presents that is implied or explicitly stated is truly frightening. Do check it out here:

    Senate Achieves Craven Punt on Indefinite Detention
    Posted on December 1, 2011 by emptywheel
    Update: The vote on 1126–which would exempt Americans from indefinite detention–was defeated 45-55. Democrats voting for indefinite detention include Begich, Blumenthal, Inouye, Klobuchar, Landrieu, Lieberman, Levin, Manchin, Bad Nelson, Pryor, Reed, Stabenow, Whitehouse. Republicans voting against indefinite detention include Collins, Kirk, Lee, Moran, and Paul.
    (and other postings)

    I mean, it is absolutely remarkable to me how so-called “progressive” Democrats can be counted upon to support blatantly unconstitutional acts and enshrine authoritarianism and a runaway Executive as public policy. Full marks to the small group of Senators that tried to hold back this rush of proto-fascistic legislation…oy vey, how much worse can it get? Feet-of-Clay Obama “promises a quick veto”, or so the WH flacks are saying…wanna bet?

  14. Hugh

    A few quick notes on today’s job report.

    In terms of people, unemployment was down 594,000. However, 315,000 of these were people the BLS stopped counting as part of the labor force. A great way to decrease unemployment, don’t you think? The BLS counted the remaining 278,000 as an increase in the employed. This was a seasonally adjusted number. The unadjusted number was just 83,000 so most of this increase came from BLS modeling.

    In terms of jobs, the BLS has reported 430,000 new jobs created in just the last 3 months. Just curious but has anyone seen much evidence of these? Even so, the economy has, per the BLS, only created 337,000 jobs in the last 12 months. It needed to create over a million just to keep up with population growth. So we are going to be deeper in the hole overall by the end of this year.

    Two observations: First, I don’t know if the jobs the BLS says were created actually exist. Second, if we accept its data, good jobs, say like in government and construction, are being lost and being replaced by poorer quality jobs in areas like leisure and hospitality.

  15. readerOfTeaLeaves

    Hanauer on the Dylan Ratigan show explaining why our current tax policies and national economic policies are killing the middle class that is so critical for wider economic prosperity:

    In my view, Hanauer is an example in moral courage and clarity.
    I hope this is widely viewed.

  16. readerOfTeaLeaves

    Remarkable interview at RealNewsNetwork, with Prof John Weeks who explains how the financial sector is/will soon be larger than government.

    He discusses the changed roles and functions of banking and finance.
    He makes a very interesting argument that hedges are now a function of corporate agribusiness, which is quite different from the (weak) needs of individual farmers.

  17. JB Smith

    Rather than Visby, I do recommend Bornholm (DK, not SE, if that matters). Smaller, much better food, and a microclimate that (often but not always) keeps away the really bad winter weather.

    Only problem is the exchange rate is a bit punitive at present.

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