Links 1/12/12


Vatican Condemns Monsanto Genetically Modified Crops as “New Form of Slavery” Natural Society (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Hostess, Maker of Twinkies, Files for Bankruptcy New York Times. I have to admit I liked all of that close-to-plastic food when I was a kid.

Coke: Fungicide Found in Orange Juice Wall Street Journal

Really? The Claim: Grief Can Cause a Heart Attack New York Times

Climate-Related Severe Weather Made 2011 Costliest Year on Record: Reports Common Dreams (hat tip reader Aquifer)

Homeland Security Given Green Light to Monitor American Journalists Yahoo. Bruce Krasting said this means me, but I don’t get it. Since I work off of information in the public domain and pretty much everything I think is already on the blog and I am chained to my computer, I’m not sure what there is to monitor (my boring Amazon purchases?). Of course, most “journalists” cultivate sources, which makes them more surveillance worthy, I suppose.

What’s a FabFi? Fabfolk (hat tip Lambert). Contingency planning for life after SOPA.

China Snubs Geithner on Iran Oil, Japan to Cut Bloomberg. Hah, we called this one.

More murder of Iranian scientists: still terrorism? Glenn Greenwald

Chart of the Day: Greek workers work 48% more hours than Germans Credit Writedowns

The unprecedented behaviour of the central banks Gavyn Davies, Financial Times (hat tip reader Scott)

Why the Tea Party Needs Mitt Thomas Frank, TomDispatch (hat tip reader Aquifer)

Buffett Challenges Republicans on Donations, Time Says Bloomberg., FYI the Bloomberg headline is better.


Japan and Canada warn on Volcker rule impact Financial Times. What sexual favors were exchanged for THIS to happen?

MF Global Customers Wrapped in Red Tape Wall Street Journal

Farmers Sue Jon Corzine Over Missing Millions ABC (hat tip reader Aquifer). Anyone seen the claim?

Credit Card Firms: They Don’t Just Steal From Cardholders Matt Taibbi (hat tip reader Aquifer)

Truth-In-Mortgage Documents Lynn Szymoniak

Open Models (part 1) mathbabe

I Was Shitting You People – A Message From Ayn Rand Goblinbooks (hat tip Lambert)

Antidote du jour:

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  1. UnlearningEcon


    Just wondering if you are going to xpost the most recent Steve Keen post, where he reconciles his banking model with a double-entry bookkeeping, MMT-esque one?

    Seems important.

  2. rjs

    first Homeland Security came for the terrorists, and i did not speak out because i was not a terrorist…then homeland security came for the journalists, and i did not speak out, because i was not a journalist…

    1. EH

      Since I work off of information in the public domain and pretty much everything I think is already on the blog and I am chained to my computer, I’m not sure what there is to monitor (my boring Amazon purchases?). Of course, most “journalists” cultivate sources, which makes them more surveillance worthy, I suppose.

      That’s where PIPA & SOPA come in, the Feds will just cut off your web site.

    1. James

      A bit surprised to hear Kunstler so irreverent to the iconic Chomsky in this interview, but I guess they don’t call him an iconoclast for nothing.

      For my part, I still think Kunstler is the most cogent voice out there among the so-called “doomer” crowd. Chomsky definitely chronicles and explains how it is that we got here better, but Kunstler has it all over him in explaining where we’re headed and exactly why it is that we’re headed there. When it comes to cynicism/realism, I like mine straight up (double please) without a chaser.

      America’s (and the world’s) energy conundrum is not now, nor has it ever been, even remotely a technological problem, nor will it ever be conducive to a technological fix. Rather, it has always been a product of our totally irrational belief in American technological exceptionalism. It’s a product of Hollywood and conservative Christian religous myth-making and the intentional dumbing down of the masses by wealthy industrialists over time so that they would eventually accept without thinking such unadulterated shit. And accept it they have.

      Cars and suburbs for 9B by 2050? Yep, that’s the capitalist plan. How’s that gonna happen? Don’t ask my friend, just believe. Jesus says we all deserve it. It’s “in the plan.”

      Hymnals please…

  3. Jim3981

    Aliens is a fascinating subject. There is an Ancient Alien series on the history channel and can also be viewed on youtube. There is hours of video, but if one makes it through the first hour or so you will get the general idea. However, if you watch enough of the shows, you will understand there is an overwhelming amount of evidence of Aliens on planet earth.

    To summarize…. The pyramids in Egypt and the other stone monuments couldn’t have been made without help thousands of years ago. The stones were too large for people to handle, and the stone work too precise to be done with the tools written about in history books.

    The real world History is turning out to be something much different than we were taught in school.

    On top of that, many of the ancient civilizations around the world show aliens in their artwork.

    It’s truly fascinating and if one listens to the arguments of the astronaut theorists on the show, one can understand why many things are happening today and how much different things are in reality than we were taught.

    1. Lobo

      Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And the ancient astronaut/alien theory is a pretty wild claim.

      The ‘evidence’ is mostly current interpretation of ancient art. Not much to base such a big claim on, IMHO. But of course you’re free to believe what you want to believe :)

      1. tom allen

        Yeah, a lot of this presupposes that ancient and/or primitive people couldn’t possibly have been as smart as we are today. Mwahahaha. :-P

      2. Jim3981

        It’s a long shot, but something doesn’t jive with what the history books claim. first of all it was thought humans only go back to around 4000 years old, one carbon dates to 11000 years old.

        What amazes me the most is how they stacked 200-1000 ton blocks way up in the air, or how they cut stepped square recesses 4-12″ deep in granite 4000-11000 years ago. Or how they maintained +/- .001″ inche flatness across those huge blocks.

        Interesting stuff to me anyway.

    2. craazyman

      the farther into it you look, the weirder it gets. I have been studying this topic for more than 30 years, believe me. You’re only at the surface of the surface. LOL.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think the aliens we got were the worst kind of space aliens.

        By that I mean, they were teasing aliens. And I hate teasing aliens.

        Why didn’t they just leave an indestructable space ship somewhere on earth or many such spaceships all over the place for us to see? How about some steel skyscrapers that, unlike the ones we build, can last 10,000 years, using unimaginably advanced materials? How about some 1,000 year warranty iPads? They apparently roamed over the planet working with stones, went in and out of our atmosphere and didn’t do any of the above, except leaving us some tantalizing relics. Teasers!

        1. craazyman

          It really was almost impolite of them. At first I thought they were space aliens, but now I have come around to the inter-dimensional view. There are emanations that envelop the earth forming alternate realities and certain beings can go back and forth between these realities, which have their own physicality. Probably many other planets have this too. It is probably a natural phenomenon of forces as yet outside of scientific recognition. And there may be connections among these realms that exist outside of what we construe to be space/time that make transit between them possible. But long-distance interstellar travel by space ships, like in Star Trek, seems to be improbable due to relativity. But who knows? Not me, that’s for sure. Not anybody, except the Watchers. LOL.

          1. Valissa

            No monoliths, MLTPB, please. I’m not into bad omens.

            @craazyman, re: ships like in Star Trek… is it relativity that’s the problem or lack of dilithium?

            Maybe some of these so-called fictional elements aren’t so fictional.

            I’m thinking some Thaumaturgon would be very useful for interdimensional travel. Then you wouldn’t need to bother with building a big space ship. Although if you could get insidium, it would be nice to have a little runabout made from it to more easily sneak into those other dimensions and reconnoiter.

    3. Walter Wit Man

      I’ve always been a relatively independent thinker and was interested in conspiracies like the JKF assassination.

      Lately, I have been looking at evidence for other conspiracies, like 911, and I am surprised at how much more evidence there is for many of these theories that I once thought was ‘crazy.’ I went ten years thinking people that questioned the official 911 story were crazy.

      Now about the only two ‘crazy’ subjects I have yet to consider are alien theories and the Illuminati conspiracy (and maybe the papal conspiracies).

      But I no longer dismiss these out of hand as I once did. I have learned I was not skeptical enough about the conspiracies involving the U.S. government the last 60 years or so and I have been amazed at how completely the American public has been propagandized.

      1. René


        I also think of myself as an independent/open-minded thinker. But I also dismissed many “conspiracy theories” as wacky, crazy, loony without actually doing my own PRIVATE INVESTIGATION.

        The fall of Lehman Brothers is what made me read the economic and financial blogs like NC, Max Keiser, ZeroHedge etc. Due to all the links provided I occasionally acquainted myself with conspiracy theories which turned out to be conspiracy FACTS.

        Until three years ago, I didn’t even know that there was a third building that came down on 9/11.

        WTC7 — This is an Orange

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Hi Rene,

          I’m glad to meet someone with a similar background! Yes indeed, those econ sites have a skeptical approach to the world in common with each other. That’s why I like them all (although I’m a little too left wing for some of them–Zero Hedge bugs me in particular but I still read it because it is skeptical and challenges conventional thinking/politics and still find good things).

          Re the orange . . . this is actually a perfect example of what I’m talking about. Thanks.

          I agree with the message in your linked video that it appears the 3 towers fell in free fall, especially WTC7, which indicates a controlled demolition. Like I said, I went ten years thinking a controlled demolition theory was crazy and dismissed it before I even considered it. Then the video evidence (and expert explanation) demonstrated to me the government’s theory did not make sense and was not supported by visual evidence–the visual evidence shows the MOST LIKELY cause of the tower collapse was a theory the investigators didn’t even pursue–controlled demolition.

          But, hang with me here, the real lesson I learned was I may not be skeptical enough! What if the video evidence isn’t real either? My first reaction to this theory was the same reaction I had to 9/11 doubters for a whole ten years—it’s too crazy to consider!!!! The video evidence if faked? C’mon, I’m just getting used to the idea the idea it was a false flag operation.

          But now I don’t know that the video are real. I doubt whether the video evidence is the “orange” it appears to be. Even though I agree its not the apple the government is claiming it is.

          I’m referring to the September Clues theory and website here. For those that don’t know the argument is that there were no planes that hit the WTC or Pentagon on 9/11, but most likely missiles instead (such as a small drone that looks like a really small commuter plane–or just a Tomahawk or something). The theory is that the attackers controlled lower Manhattan and used a military device to prevent all electronic recording devices in the area from working (this is why cell phones and radios did not work). They then planted a witnesses that claimed to see airplanes and used faked CGI to show the towers collapsing on air. They further created about 40 faked “amateur” video that was released sporadically over the years.

          I really don’t know what to believe anymore. Watching the Semptember Clues video is pretty spooky. There are definitely some weird occurrences on live tv that morning. Why did the plane’s nose poke out of the tower in a way that looks like its CGI?

          Anyway, I think we are meant to be confused. There is disinformation mixed in with the truth. I agree that we must examine these claims ourselves!

          1. René

            Not familiar with September Clues theory and website but I will look into it.

            I have to agree with you that we have to be very sceptical (and a little paranoid) because there is so much information out there. It is difficult not to be lead into the wrong direction or to adopt a mainstream attitude towards “events”.

            Hillary Clinton once said, “there is an information war and “we” are losing it.”

            It’s not an apple, Hillary!


          2. mystery

            All of the WTC complex shared a basement. All of the first two buildings fell into that basement, leaving the structural integrity of WTC7 suspect.

            After the first two buildings fell, there were a TON of emergency responders searching for survivors in shadow of WTC7.

            I have no doubt that someone made a very tough decision to take WTC7 down. You can’t brace a building of that size, and you can’t not look in the rubble for survivors.

            Bottom line, I wouldn’t want to make the decision, but would have done the same thing. Risk the lives of the rest of the NYFD, or clear everyone out and drop “controlled” what could have dropped on them on it’s own at anytime, in a very uncontrolled way?

            The ‘cover up’ I disagree with, but see a reason for. Number one reason- What killed the people in the first two buildings? The fall of them, or dropping another building on top of the rubble? The insurance industry would have a field day with this question.

            The more interesting part of that day, which also needs much more discussion in public is the flight that “crashed” over PA. They found parts of it 6 miles away from the crash site, usually a sign of a plane being shot down, then gliding in.

            Why did they shoot it down? Given the same circumstances, would they do the same thing again? The answers to these questions would weigh heavily on the Airline industry, as I believe they would do the exact same thing in the future.

          3. Walter Wit Man

            Hey Mystery,

            Thanks for raising those possibilities!

            I don’t think they are probable (and actually could be prime examples of disinformation, actually):

            1) You are obviously referring to Mr. Silverstein, the owner of the WTC who got a shitload of money on the insurance policy (ruled on by Mukasey), and who used the technical term for a controlled demolition:

            I am suspicious of your suggestion they pulled the buidling to save lives because it would require days to wire the building, according to experts I saw. They could not have wired it to pull it in that amount of time. It sounds like disinformation to me, because it allows them to hide what they were doing that day and conveniently provides a good ulterior motive for them to keep in quiet. I’m suspicious of this.

            Likewise . . .

            2. Rumsfeld and others have “slipped” (disinformation?) and alleged a plane was shot down. I am most confused about this episode out of all the episodes of 9/11. I really have no clue what “really” happened or any way to really grapple with the alleged facts.

            First, no plane will disintegrate on impact into a small crater and leave barely a trace–just a little smoke but no engine or body parts, etc. So maybe the main wreckage was in other locations (there were reports of other nearby locations). And maybe shooting the plane down in air explains the few eyewitnesses that saw an explosion but no plane.

            Plus, there is an specific Air Force pilot that was decorated for his secret mission that day that is suspected of being the shooter:

            Again, who knows what was shot down or if this is specific disinformation. I don’t know. I am much more inclined to believe number 2 above, that the military shot something down in Pennsylvania that day than I am number 1 above.

            But I am suspicious of theories that conveniently “excuse” the government for hiding information and assume noble intentions to its behavior.

          4. mystery

            no disinfo here, I think for myself.

            “it would require days to wire the building”

            nonsense. I didn’t seen it, but the entire support structure of the building was probably heavily damaged. The way the building fell is also key to this. It LOOKS like the underside was taken out. A wired, controlled demo would have had several larger charges inside the building.

            The way the tape looks, all of the sudden there wasn’t anything under it.

            On 9/11, a few hours after commercial planes attacked several buildings, you find one lost. As the urban myth goes, the passengers rebelled, and took back the aircraft.

            Q- Do you believe that the guy that gets on the radio and says that the plane is now under the control of the passengers? What proof do you have that he doesn’t have a gun to his head? Are you going to put further lives at risk by trying to land it at another airport?

            Or, are you going to steer it out to the middle of nowhere and shoot it down?

          5. Walter Wit Man


            Oh, I’m not accusing you of intentionally spreading disinformation. Your theories are valid and could even be true.

            I could imagine the passengers taking over the airplane from the hijackers but the military shooting it down anyway.

            It just seems like it would be good disinformation because military people and others in the know would think they know the real story when the real story is even more complicated than they know. They may feel justified keeping the truth from the public because they may feel the public could not handle the truth. They may feel proud they did they tough work civilians can’t or won’t do.

            So maybe the Air Force pilots simply shot down a dummy plane, and lots of people are keeping mum about lots of stuff that happened that day, stuff not even related to the shooting down of a plane, in a misguided effort to protect the American people from the truth. It would also be a good reason to get a suspicious military officer to stop snooping around some sensitive issue.

      2. René

        In regards to alien theories, I highly recommend you watching the documentary “Thrive – What on Earth will it take.” Beautifully made and inspiring.

        In regards to the Illuminati, just use Wikipedia. You will discover that the Bilderbergers, CFR/Trilateral commision members, Knights of Malta, Jesuits, Royals and the “Court Jews” i.e. the hollywood banksters and C.E.O’s of large corporations are all related somehow. Not sure if you want to call it the Illuminati, but it’s a big club and they are the owners.

        Sometimes a picture tells more than a thousand words;

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          To aliens, we are aliens.


          To some aliens who are not our relatives, we are aliens.

          To those aliens who planted their genes in us not too long ago (geological-time-scale-wise), we are not aliens.

    4. Binky the Bear

      As an archaeologist I can tell you that the greatest mystery on the History Channel is where they find enough product to make that guy’s hair stand up like that. Probably provided by the Centauri-Coincidence? I think not. (see website link for photo).
      Pyramids were made with an early concrete and faced with stone. Not aliens.
      Stone monuments-we’re talking about people who worked with stone every day. They had little metal or metallurgy and what there was cost a bundle. So they got to know rocks because rocks were relatively cheap. Moving big rocks simply took bigger levers and tricks like rollers, clay slurry lubricants, and a high tolerance for workplace mishaps.
      Now if someone digs up a flying saucer like in Tommyknockers or The Thing, well, that will be evidence. I don’t believe in the Sagan-babble “extraordinary evidence” shibboleth; I think claims require evidence, period.

    5. Jim3981

      Sounds like everybody is waking up at the same time.

      I like the site for good analysis of the WTC7 building demolitions. According to NIST a 6000 gallon Diesel fuel backup tank, was later found FULL AFTER the building collapse???

      For those wondering about if the Illuminati are real, you may want to watch this movie on the music industry. It was the last peace of evidence that I needed to make believer out of me.

      1. Stepph

        The mainstream media’s version of 911 is clearly a hoax. The scientific case for controlled demolition of all three buildings is clearly spelled out by the web site, which limits itself nearly entirely to the technical evidence.

        Assertions like “They then planted a witnesses that claimed to see airplanes and used faked CGI to show the towers collapsing on air. They further created about 40 faked “amateur” video that was released sporadically over the years.” are generally regarded as nutty sounding disinformation by the 911 Truth community. This kind of stuff is designed to discredit and confuse, and if you are reading quickly or don’t want to confront the evidence, work pretty well. (It was no accident this meme was brought up in proximity to references to ancient aliens – guilt by association.)

        I wouldn’t stop you from going to the site mentioned above. But you definitely wouldn’t be hearing the full story if you tried that without checking out the following:

        – Any of the books by David Ray Griffin, esp. New Pearl Harbor
        – Chemists, physicists, and logical thinkers of all kinds should go directly here.
        – Movies: Loose Change, maybe Zeitgeist if you want something that fits it into a larger picture.

        1. Walter Wit Man


          Can you point me to a source that refutes the September Clues stuff? I wouldn’t be surprised if I was duped into thinking disinformation was relevant. I was skeptical of his site at first, and still have some issues with his theories–it is a sensational theory.

          I just think he has raised a number of issues with the live coverage that day.

          And my problem is that once I find any evidence of tampering that day then basically the burden of proof should kind of shift. It does seem sensational . . . I know . . . . like everything that day . . . but I have to say some of his evidence is convincing to me but I would like to see it put in context.

          The flight paths in those videos don’t seem to relate to each other, like he alleges. It seems this is something easy to confirm. Have you seen other video analysis re the flight paths?

          And why was the major media sharing just a couple of video shots that day? Is this normal? Unprecedented? Do you know or have a source that can put this in context?

          And for what it’s worth I do get the sense that most in the 911 Truth community think the September Clues is disinformation. I just started looking into this stuff 6 months ago.

          Is his stuff just total lies?

          Did two different networks fade to black on different shots right when the plane hit? Did he fake this or is this normal? This seems highly suspicious to me.

          Did he mess with the color of the pictures and take out the background to make it look doctored? It does seem suspicious that the pictures were so bad for such a clear day.

          Can you explain that “nose out” shot? It does seem suspicious that Fox would disappear this shot from the archives? Is he right about this claim? He claims to get shots from the archives that I assume are correct–has he been caught lying about what video he’s showing?

          Anyway, thanks for the input.

          1. Walter Wit Man

            For instance, this video attempts to debunk the September Clues “nose out” shot:!

            But I am not convinced and end up wondering if the critic is the one engaging in disinformation.

            Same with this:

            The last video is evidently a Loose Change guy debunking September Clues, and I have to say Loose Change is a great movie, but I am not entirely convinced by the debunking in the video. He only addresses a couple of the issues, and it’s heavy on mocking and character assassination (like one guy is a meth head and the woman has weird hair). I have also seen allegations that he and Alex Jones promote disinformation themselves or act like gatekeepers, etc.

            One thing we can be sure of is that it seems like someone is playing games. I don’t trust anybody anymore.

            I would like to see a more complete analysis of the live video from 9/11 though.

          2. Stepph


            I leave this mostly for bystanders.

            One of the features of the 911 counter-truth movement – the disinformation movement – is to suck off energy and attention into tiny sub-issues. The nose/in-nose/out thing you linked to seems like that to me: blurred noise of a few pixels is about 1000x less important than, for example, the evidence of thermitic explosives in the dust from the buildings: “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe” .

            Anyone on the sidelines with enough attention and patience to read this far in a Naked Capitalism comment thread should have no problem with reading through any of David Ray Griffin’s books, and understanding the evidence against the official story.

      2. Walter Wit Man

        And even though I may have introduced some disinformation earlier, I’m sure this is better:

        It’s a talk by Susan Lindauer, who claims she was a C.I.A. asset that was the go between for the U.S. and Iraq during their negotiations to end sanctions before 9/11. She claims there were lots of people with prior knowledge of 9/11 and that she was tasked with delivering a message warning Iraq to hand over any information they had or else face war.

        Interesting stuff. She’s also the first non Arab charged under the PATRIOT Act.

  4. fresno dan

    ” Bruce Krasting said this means me, but I don’t get it. Since I work off of information in the public domain and pretty much everything I think is already on the blog and I am chained to my computer, I’m not sure what there is to monitor (my boring Amazon purchases?). Of course, most “journalists” cultivate sources, which makes them more surveillance worthy, I suppose”

    Are you perchasing nitrate fertilizers on amazon???
    Of course, now that you have thought whether you have purchased, or may purchase nitrate fertilizers, the Fatherland security agency for future possible terrorist acts may have to start monitoring you

    1. Aquifer


      Insofar as your blog is influential, and insofar as you have unnamed background sources for your material, you better believe you, personally, may well be monitored.

      Of course there is the other side – the injection of fear; if folks think they are being monitored they will dry up in terms of sharing information. All it takes is one or two prosecutions or firings of folks to get the message out – “keep your trap shut, you could be next.”

      IMO the only ways to counteract this are 1)for people to refuse to be intimidated, 2)some kind of assurance from somewhere that someone is covering them or at least defending them and 3)most importantly, IMO, a concerted effort to change the political climate that makes the possibility of such retribution all too believable …

      But that is just my take …

      1. Chris A

        Live as if you were free, indeed. I suspect Aquifer is completely correct, yours is a site that might well be “monitored.” For what? Policing rigorous independent thought? Certainly not because this site or dozens of others like it represents any kind of threat that the Department of Homeland Security is supposed to protect us from.

        All the more reason to keep writing. And keep an eye out for any and all stories about stuff like this, and talk about them often and indignantly.

        On the bright side, look at the public response to outrages like SOPA: people got ticked off, spoke up, called it the kind of outrageous overreaching that it is, and now it looks as though it might not pass. To me, that’s plenty encouraging, but IMO, wouldn’t be happening but for bloggers and tech-minded folks speaking out about it.

        My response to news like this is (1) to get pissed off, (2) tell everyone about it, and (3) start blogging, myself.

  5. DC Native

    eXiled is a complete joke. If you attempt to comment on one of their articles and their official censor doesn’t like what you said (as in, he disagrees with your point or you pointed out the flawed nature or premise of the article), then the censor will re-write your comment in an absurd manner and attribute the comment to you.

    And not just slightly re-write your comment, but completely change the meaning to something like, “Yes, Mark Ames is an absolute God. I am an idiot. I say only stupid things, etc. etc.”

    This wouldn’t be quite so bad if their “journalism” was a bit more reliable, but if you take even a few moments to read their recent slimes of people like Glenn Greenwald (and one of their older slimes of George Orwell), you can see that their “journalism” is mostly dishonest, disingenuous ad hominem attacks. Petty, petty stuff.

    I refuse to even visit the site anymore. It’s one thing to be cutting-edge and vulgar [both are fine in my book], but it’s a completely different thing to blatantly censor dissenting viewpoints and write fact-free slimes (or outrageous exaggerations) in order to slander competitors. eXiled = Narcissism HQ.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      The Exiled article is great!

      What other news source is providing critical information about the government crackdown in L.A. against peaceful protesters?

      So before I start criticizing its tone I will note it is investigating and providing critical information no other source is providing.

      Good to hear LA prosecutors are having their asses handed to them in court! How much money did the government spend on its fascist crack down on peaceful civil disobedience? What are the results? Most was legal protest. They had to over charge and reach to even get the low level civil disobedience charges they got and in the end all they got was probation and community service (which seems harsh) for 2 people!

    2. Anon

      By the sound of it, Yasha Levine’s got another story out of his #OWS arrest – the plea bargain offered to those collared to pay $300-odd to private company American Justice Associates for a DVD-led refresher on the 1st Amendment.

      I for one can’t wait. Bring on the LOLs. Look forward to learning all about Debbie Bryce McKinley and the sterling work she’s doing upholding the constitutional rights of US citizens.

  6. Middle Seaman

    Glenn Greenwald lives a privileged life. With a modest intellect he can support his life style and spew all kinds of opinions into the information blob. He knows who killed the Iranian scientist because he just does. He totally supports killing of kids if these kids are children of “bad guys”, but he protects, with the equally endowed friend Kevin Drum, Iranian scietists who aid many past and future murders all over the world.

    It is a magnificantly simple world in which everything is either black or white for the Glenn Greenwalds.

      1. barrisj

        I hardly think this poster/troll is interested in “facts”, as the evidence is quite overwhelming that the US and its military have been responsible for more deaths of children than has Iran, beginning with the chokehold sanctions against Iraq after the “Gulf War”, where estimates (UNICEF, e.g.) show at least 170000, and up to 500000 children died a preventable death because of malnutrition and lack of medication. And then we can factor in the invasion/occupation of Iraq, where tens of thousands of children died directly or indirectly as a consequence of US military action, an occupation which caused an entire breakdown of Iraqi society. Oh, and then there is Afghanistan, where children prominently figure in civilian casualties due to military operations or caught up in insurgency bombings. Finally, let us not forget the continuing loss of civilian – and childrens’ – lives as “collateral damage” when US drones let loose their payload against “high-value targets” across the Muslim world. In fact, going back to the Iran-Iraq war of the 80’s, thousands of Iranian children died as a result of bombings and gas attacks by Iraqi forces during that period, a war that US support “tilted” toward Saddam Hussein. “Facts”? Give me a break.

    1. René

      Middle Seaman,

      @ 01:52

      “Americans have been bombarded for so long with the idea that a SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH ISRAEL is a GOOD THING that it has been accepted as a dire necessity; as a bulwark between them and the spectre of rampant world-wide terrorism.

      But there are many people, and I am one of them, who maintain that America’s long-term, tunnel-visioned support for the ambitions of ZIONIST APARTHEID ISRAEL is the root cause of a great deal of the unrest and distrust that we see in the world, today.”

    2. Walter Wit Man

      You logic is black and white, not Glenn’s.

      How do you know these Iranian scientists help kill people past and present? You uncritically accept U.S./Israel statements?

      The latest guy that was killed is too young to have served in the war against Iraq (that the U.S. promoted and played up both sides killing each other), which was about the only military conflict Iran has been involved in the last 100 years (America can’t say the same). So he probably hasn’t been responsible for killing anyone. (whereas there are plenty of U.S. weapons manufacturers, scientists, salesmen, reps, etc. with blood on their hands)

      Furthermore, Iran’s scientists are working on a legal civilian nuclear program. They have the right to make nuclear power for civilian purposes. So the evidence shows this scientist is not killing people. The U.S. simply says he MAY use his knowledge to create a weapon in the future, as many scientists can do (if the U.S. is going to assassinate scientists with this knowledge they better get busy killing–they have a lot more scientists to blow up).

      Lastly, even if the scientist were making bombs or military weapons, rules of war traditionally did not allow for assassination of individuals like scientists. Israel has pushed to change international law the last few decades or so and has been assassinating individuals, and now we have a Democrat, as well as the entire U.S. political establishment, now totally on board with violating this first rule of war (which is why the U.S. and/or Israel are not fully admitting their crimes).

      If Iran were to apply the same theory against the U.S., it would be within its rights to assassinate civilians that were developing U.S. weapons systems. Think how many U.S. private contractors would be subject to assassination if other countries were to follow U.S./Israel logic. In fact, there is a strong likelihood these weapons will be used against the Iranian people so actually Iran is more justified in using assassination than the U.S. would be (if we are using U.S. logic, that is). After all, whose scientific creation is more likely to cause actual death in the future? An American scientist working for a U.S. war contractor, or an Iranian scientist working on nuclear power?

  7. Klassy!

    Twinkies are tasty. Cue Mark Bittman to write a post saying how this is a victory for the poors because they can switch from a snack of unhealthy twinkies to a plate of nourishing rice and beans (note: I have nothing against rice and beans. As a protein source its chief advantage is that it is more environmentally friendly and well, no animal misery) In doing so, they will save money and soon join the ranks of the upper middle classes! Plus, they won’t be so disgustingly fat– another bugaboo of Bittman.
    Never mind that Interstate bakeries will soon see their unions demolished. Like I said– rice and beans. It’s the key to wealth building.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Remember the great Spy Magazine? From Twinkie Failure Testing:

      (reprinted from SPY magazine, July 1989) In an effort to clarify questions about the purported durability and unusual physical characteristics of Twinkies, we subjected the Hostess snack logs to the following experiments:

      EXPOSURE: A Twinkie was left on a window ledge for four days, during which time an inch and a half of rain fell. Many flies were observed crawling across the Twinkie’s surface, but contrary to hypothesis, birds — even pigeons — avoided this potential source of sustenance. Despite the rain and prolonged exposure to the sun, the Twinkie retained its original color and form. When removed, the Twinkie was found to be substantially dehydrated. Cracked open, it was observed to have taken on the consistency of industrial foam insulation; the filling, however, retained its advertised “creaminess.”


      1. Klassy!

        I do remember that. I still maintain that they are tasty. It does not really gross me out that they are shelf stable (for eons) and anyway, that was not one of Spy’s best pieces.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      It’s not a victory. They will probably still be around.

      I don’t know the specifics of this case but it probably just means the company:

      1. Doesn’t have to honor their pension promises to its employees.

      2. Want to protect itself from lawsuits. Who knows, maybe there was some nasty chemical the twinkie people used that caused huge liabilities so they are closing up shop rather than making victims whole.

      3. Management, the lawyers, the bankers, etc. will all come out just fine. The twinkie business will just be a bit leaner and meaner for workers and customers in the future.

  8. aesop


    A Bear was once bragging about his generous feelings, and saying how refined he was compared with other animals. (There is, in fact, a tradition that a Bear will never touch a dead body.) A Fox, who heard him talking in this strain, smiled and said, “My friend, when you are hungry, I only wish you _would_ confine your attention to the dead and leave the living alone.”

    A hypocrite deceives no one but himself.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If the Fox had TV and Rock & Roll in his world, I think he would have said, ‘Friend, if you are hungry for attention, I wish you would confine your antics to the dead and leave the living alone.’

  9. ohmyheck

    Re: China and Geithner—“the U.S. is bearing most of the cost of patrols and surveillance in the Strait of Hormuz, through which 17 million barrels a day of crude are transported. China, the No. 2 importer of oil after the U.S., enjoys protection for the shipping lanes for free, retired Admiral Dennis Blair, a former U.S. Director of National Intelligence, said in an interview.”

    China. Playing us like a fiddle…..

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s not any better if we let China replace all our warships there with theirs, even if they pay for operating them themselves.

  10. mk

    from Homeland Monitoring Journalists: “According to RT, the website “Fast Company” reports that the NOC Monitoring Initiative has been in play since at least early-2010 and that the data is being shared with both private sector businesses and international third parties.” ~~~~~~~~~~~ what is the purpose of the gov’t. sharing the info collected/stored re: journalists with private biz and other gov’ts?

  11. The Heretic

    To Yves and to all,

    I liked the article by the Mathbabe; it is always important for everyone to remember that regardless of the complexity of the model, or the credentials of the modellers or the institution that supports them, if the data set or the assumptions are flawed, the results will ne badly flawed. (i.e Garbage in, garbage out). I liked mathbabe’s suggestion the models and data sets for publically funded projects or initiatives should be made public, as this would to better verification and debate of the models (even if it is done by those opposed to the initiative, since the release if the model would encoutage them to be more specific in their objection.
    Valid objections would help evolve the model to greater accuracy, while spurious or or invalid objections would expose the critic to criticism ). I wonder what would be some incentive problems to get the publically funded scientists to release their models. Would it cause some scientist to withdraw from work on pulblic projects? Would it give critisizers to much power to obfuscate, delay and frustrate the modellers through endless debate?

    Your thoughts?

  12. Up the Ante

    ” “I simply do not know where the money is, or why the accounts have not been reconciled to date,” Corzine said ..

    The New York Times, however, reported that the former Goldman Sachs CEO “played a much larger, hands-on role in the firm’s high-stakes risk-taking than has previously been known”

    According to the Times, Corzine “compulsively traded for the firm on his BlackBerry during meetings, sometimes dashing out to check on the markets.” In a move considered out of the ordinary for a chief executive, Corzine “became a core member of the group that traded using the firm’s money. His profits and losses appeared on a separate line in documents with his initials: JSC.” ”

    So, the Spectacle, of Congress, and the Justice Dept.

    Their legislation is throw-away, and ditto.

  13. Yearning to Learn

    1. I am 100% against Monsanto
    2. Depending on the process, I am sometimes against genetic modification of our foods. it depends on your definition of “genetically modified”.
    3. the article about the Vatican condemning genetically modified food is terrible.

    For instance: (italics from the article)
    “Genetically modified foods been proven not only to be a threat to nature, but extremely harmful to humans”

    no they have not.
    the science about health effects of GMO foods on humans is preliminary.

    The process entails the transfer of genes from one organism to another, such as taking particular genes from a pig and transferring them to a tomato. Not only does this defile nature, but it leads to a host of health problems.

    again, no it does not. For instance, hundreds of years ago tulip farmers started cross pollinating different tulips to get different versions of tulips. The result: they changed the genetic structure of the hybridized tulips. Did this cause “a host of health problems?”
    it did of course lead to a financial bubble, but that is another matter.

    Genetically modifying a plant/animal doesn’t necessarily mean that you are using high tech equipment (although sometimes it does).

    I’m not sure it “defies nature” since that’s what evolution is all about. If it “defiled nature” we would all be single cell organisms today.

    Due to the complexity of a living organism’s genetic structure, it is impossible to track the long-term results of consuming genetically modified food.

    incorrect. it is difficult. very difficult. impossible? no.
    but if GMO products were as horrifically hazardous to our health as the article claims then it would be quite easy to show the difference.
    it has nothing to do with “the complexity of the living organisms genetic structure” and everything to do with the visibility of change on the human.

    the reason why this is difficult is primarily
    1) the health effects, if any, are subtle
    2) the health effects, if any, may take prolonged time to manifest.
    combined with
    3) the GMO food itself is changing so rapidly.
    now before everybody yells at me that I’m a Monsanto apologizer… I am not.

    Monsanto is as evil as they come, and they have much to answer for.
    however: there is enough to hoist Monsanto on its own petard. no need to exaggerate or make up data.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It will be interesting to see if slow genetic tinkering and fast genetic tinkering can be compared to moving slowly, i.e. walking, and moving extremely fast, like driving a genius-designed truck at 350 MPH.

      It could be that, comparably, you can only go safely @ 1.2 MPH.

      It’s fun to ask questions like that.

  14. Valissa

    FYI, for the time being STATFOR’s site is free to all. Once they get their new subscription system up, it will revert to the subscription firewall so this is a good time to check them out at

  15. joe

    Congrats Yves! You’ve captured the prized upper left corner of the Alex Jones demgraphic! Comment after comment about WT7, space aliens, and which blogger owns the Truth. Not shit about another American corporation looting their workers pension fund in Bankruptcy Court.

    1. Valissa

      Yves has done HEAPS of work on many serious financial issues of the day, all of which are often discussed here… which is why this blog has increased readership over the years.

      Have you never heard of comic relief? or of the rejuvenating power of playful imaginings? Do you never question whether some conspiracy theories might actually be true or partially true?

      Perhaps you missed the comments yesterday about the usefulness of letting go of condemnation (and it’s twin self-rightsous superiority).

    2. Walter Wit Man

      Just to set the record straight . . . not only did I comment about WTC7 but I also made a comment where I specifically wondered about workers having their pensions stolen in bankruptcy court (the Hostess BK case). Plus, this is a links post discussing a number of different subjects.

      Feel free to expand on my comment above or make another comment about bankruptcy if you are so inclined–but I’m thinking you just wanted to take a couple of cheap shots rather than talk bankruotcy.

      1. Valissa

        Personally I thought you, Rene and Mystery did such a good job discussing the WT7 issue I had nothing to add. I’ve ruminated about many of those ideas too.

        “All warfare is based on deception.” Sun Tzu

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Speaking of bankruptcy, I like think of it as ‘financial bombruptcy.’

          A lot of people can get hurt in a financial bombruptcy.

          The image is of a financial bomb erupting.

          The verb is ‘to bombrupt.’

          1. Valissa

            Intriguing idea, let’s conjugate the verb and see what happens…

            I bombrupt; you bombrupt; he/she/it bombrupts (present singular)
            We bombrupt; you bombrupt; they bombrupt (present plural)

            Hmm, I think future tense would work better with that one.

            I will bombrupt; you will bombrupt; he/she/it willl bombrupt (singular, future)

            Well, maybe not…

            How about past tense? I bombrupted; you bombrupted; he/she/it bombrupted (singular) we bombrupted; you bombrupted; they bombrupted (plural)

            OK, that one kinda works ;)

        2. Walter Wit Man

          Thanks Valissa.

          The conspiracy theory stuff has been a good lighthearted release lately.

          Watched part of a movie recently on Jonestown (Evidence of Revision) that was fascinating: (it will make me think twice about using the phrase, “drink the Kool-Aid”, which does a disservice to what really happened)

          Although some may not find that subject lighthearted, I just realized . . . .

          I guess I’m just bored with real politics because I see how rigged and futile it is so I might as well try to figure out how the giants move their chess pieces across the board.

  16. Cathryn Mataga

    Maybe there is something to the Volker rule, if they’re complaining about it. I think the consensus here in the Financial waacko-sphere among the Birchers was that the Volker rule was a big nothing.

    And, Yves, if homeland security carts you off to Guantanamo, I promise to post sympathetic links on Facebook. If you happen to be in the SF Bay area, I can feed your cats until ‘hostilities have ended.’

  17. Fiver


    Note re the Canada/Japan pushing against the Volcker rule that neither is exactly what you’d call “sovereign”. Japan has long been the first to support the US before they know they support the US, while Canada, with Goldman’s Carney at the CB helm and Harper’s essentially far-right Republican, fascist, pro-military, pro-Israel, pro-fundamental Christian, pro-punishing the disadvantaged, and above all, pro-corporate Bible has done tremendous damage already in Canada itself and to its international reputation, and promises to do a great deal more. His only interest is being at the power table with what he sees as “The Big Boys” who all seem to be just like him. He’ll do whatever it takes to get him there, which for now mostly means doing whatever Wall Street and Washington want. Note however that his ego, his pettiness, and his vindictiveness are boundless – so he reacts badly to direction from real Power (eg., a short-term, cynically politically motivated delay to Keystone) and has to think it’s all his idea.

  18. F. Beard

    “Milky Way Stuffed with 50 Billion Alien Worlds”

    Yet SETI, until it was (unfortunately) shut down, heard nothing. The silence was becoming acutely embarrassing, I imagine.

    A couple of non-theistic scientists wrote a book called “Rare Earth” where they postulated that Earth maybe the ONLY planet in the entire Universe with intelligent life according to known science and probability theory. This is why, btw, there is keen interest in proving the existence of an infinite number of other universes – to escape those odds.

    Let’s generously re-fund SETI. It won’t hear anything but that alone will speak volumes.

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