Links 1/31/12

Florida man who tied dumbbell to pit bull’s neck gets 40 days in the doghouse McClatchy (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Volcanic eruptions emerge as lead cause for Little Ice Age Christian Science Monitor

Portrait of the Trust-Buster As a Young Man George Washington. A Men’s Health cover set of pecs.

Lamberth and the art of judicial writing McClatchy (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

EU summit: UK and Czechs refuse to join fiscal compact BBC (hat tip Marshall Auerback)

Latest ECB data shows how bad things have become in Euroland Bill Mitchell

EU Nears Confrontation Over Greek Rescue Bloomberg

Portuguese storm gathers as EU leaders fight over Greece Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Banks set to double crisis loans from ECB Financial Times

Driver ‘said he provided protection for the Murdochs’, court told Independent (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Gingrich won’t win, and Bibi will be in a lose-lose situation Haaretz (hat tip reader May S)

Financial Systems and Italian Cruise Ship Captains Global Economic Intersection

Romney’s attack tactics anger rivals Financial Times

Second Year In, Republican Governors Back Off New York Times

New York police spokesman comes under fire Associated Press. Buzz Potamkin: “He deserves this. A truly bad, evil person.”

Dozens of Port Authority jobs go to Christie loyalists NorthJersey

New Fund Hopes to Prove Thesis of Outspoken Analyst New York Times

Banks Fight to Exempt Half of Swaps Books Bloomberg (hat tip mathbabe)

U.S. Gets Tougher on Debt Collecting Wall Street Journal. Of course, Obama waits till right before the election.

Treasury Investigates Freddie Mac Investment New York Times. Ahem. How often have you seen Treasury jump immediately on a news story to launch an investigation? I can’t think of a single previous instance under Geithner. We’ve been told Geithner is enormously frustrated at his inability to bring DeMarco to heel. Not that we think DeMarco’s stance on principal mods or pushing foreclosure timelines is correct, but this does not pass the smell test (see our post for the longer form discussion).

Obama Bluffs on ReFi? Bruce Krasting. I’m not a fan of DeMarco, but BK makes a plausible case re refi plan posturing.

US economy stumbles MacroBusiness. Quelle surprise!

More Great Moments in Libertarian History: Ancient Sumerian Word For “Libertarian” Was “Deadbeat”, “Freeloader” (Updated!) Yasha Levine, eXiled. OMG, you cannot make this stuff up! From last week but still worth reading.

Liability Release Not the Only Stumbling Block in Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Dave Dayen, Firedoglake (hat tip reader Aquifer)

Journalists—this Writer Included—Swept Up in Mass Arrest at Occupy Oakland Mother Jones

Occupy protests in Oakland and New York: a weekend of police clashes Guardian (hat tip Lambert)

Occupy Monsanto with Farmers: Jan. 31, Foley Square (NYC) Food Freedom (hat tip reader Aquifer)

A veteran Wall-Streeter confronts the Occupy movement Stephen Roach, Financial Times. You have to read this. Roach is reduced to near terror by having to talk to people who are Not One of Us.

‘Davos consensus’ under siege Gideon Rachman, Financial Times

Antidote du jour. By Thurmyeye:

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79 comments

  1. YankeeFrank

    Ahh Sumerian humour. Leave it the exiled to come up with the funniest bit of libertard humour since the teabaggers entered the scene. Return to mother indeed.

    1. Piano Racer

      Count of the word “tard” on that article: 34, 3 of which are in the article headline and body. One in your comment.

      I am left to conclude that the ideas of the libertarians are not something that you, or those in the link, are interested in having a serious conversation about.

      Which I think is very, very sad.

      1. albrt

        >I am left to conclude that the ideas of the libertarians are not something that you, or those in the link, are interested in having a serious conversation about.

        >Which I think is very, very sad.

        The first step in curing this existential sadness is to get out of one’s mother’s basement.

        1. Piano Racer

          And the baseless, ad-hominem attacks continue, thanks for making my point for me.

          I come here for dialog and debate, not group think and vitriol.

          1. Anonymous Jones

            Mr. Racer —

            I agree that the use of the “-tard” suffix is childish, churlish, unnecessary, counterproductive and sad. I also agree that living in one’s mother’s basement has no bearing on whether one can engage in an intelligent conversation.

            But if you, for even one second, believe that the “libertarian”-types discussed in that article have a better chance with real, reasoned discussion than staying in the gutter with ad hominen, then, well, that’s where we will start to disagree.

            If I were you, I would be pleased as punch to have my detractors go all ad hom on me, because let me tell you, facts and logic are not your friend in this debate.

            Cheers,

            A. Jones

    2. Kukulkan

      The Exiled piece suggests that people freed from debt-slavery should be referred to as “deadbeats” and “freeloaders”, thus implying that it’s a bad thing and, by implication, that debt-slavery is a good thing. Perhaps a better translation would be “manumission”.

      You know, I was hoping that the whole pro-slavery implications of the SOPA protest — “Let’s make content-creators work for free! Yay!”) — was a bit of an aberration, but apparently not. It seems slavery is being rehabilitated and increasingly coming to be seen as a good thing. Well, I suppose it was only to be expected, given how torture has increasingly come to be accepted as not only necessary, but even admirable in some quarters.

      Granted, the libertarians seem to have missed the point of the Sumerian word — the king would declare a jubilee, cancelling all debts and freeing the debt-slaves. This seems to be an example of government intervention in the economy against the interests of private debt-holders. Usually libertarians are in favour of private interests and opposed to government intervention.

      However, if libertarians are in favour of cancelling debts that just aren’t going to be repaid and freeing the indebted, then I think this is something that should be encouraged rather than mocked. I really don’t see the point of imposing austerity measures on people — not quite reducing them to slavery, but heading in that direction — in order to try and transfer as much wealth as possible to the bankers and speculators.

      I generally don’t agree with libertarians, but on this issue I have to admit that I think they’re right and should be supported. Sometimes we need to put tribalism aside and acknowledge that we have interests in common with others and work with them.

      1. reslez

        The Exiled piece suggests that people freed from debt-slavery should be referred to as “deadbeats” and “freeloaders”

        Yes, because by right libertarian standards someone who doesn’t pay off their debts is a freeloader. Libertarians believe in the sanctity of private contracts. Erasing a privately held debt goes against everything they believe in. Since the word amargi originated in debt cancellation, the libertarians are branding themselves deadbeats in their own terms. The ignorance and hypocrisy are great snark fodder.

        I was hoping that the whole pro-slavery implications of the SOPA protest — “Let’s make content-creators work for free! Yay!”) — was a bit of an aberration

        It’s SOPA supporters who want content-creators to work for free — or a pittance — since the corporations behind SOPA don’t actually create anything themselves. They hire others to create and then whore out the copyrights for generations while the artist gets nothing.

        Granted, the libertarians seem to have missed the point of the Sumerian word — the king would declare a jubilee, cancelling all debts and freeing the debt-slaves. This seems to be an example of government intervention in the economy against the interests of private debt-holders.

        Actually according to Graeber the debts were typically held by the temples or the king himself, which made cancellation politically much more feasible than in our own system, where private despots own the debt.

        The point still stands, though, as private debts were canceled too. Freedom!

        1. JTFaraday

          I’m not sure that’s quite right. On balance, I think I’ve seen libertarians proposing foreclosure or bankruptcy as the “obvious” solution to many of the bubble induced problems.

          It could be that they advocate this kind of debt release in PREFERENCE to government bailout or “debt jubilee” while keeping the property, but it IS a release from debt.

          NOT having the option of declaring bankruptcy is debt enslavement.** Hope a doping people along on the vague possibility of a government solution when none is coming isn’t too nice either.

          ** Like student loans, maybe. And, admittedly, it would be much nicer if the government would just give everybody a free house.

          1. JTFaraday

            And as far as wage slavery is concerned, a minimum wage job guarantee *paired with* the elimination of the extant 6-months unemployment program during which one might look for a non-minimum wage job is not too nice either.

            Being forced into labor at minimum wage immediately upon being laid off is also pretty prison-like. I don’t see libertarians making a federal case out of the wholesale elimination of your last ditch effort to salvage yourself.

            The punitive mentality takes form within all ideologies, so there are plenty of targets out there. The exiled is becoming a one trick pony.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Unfortunately, unrecorded debts to the Mafia, the Triads
          or the Yakuza will not be jubileed, not now, when the Sumerians ruled nor in any foreseeable future.

          In this sense, any jubilee not agreed to by the Black Hand people discriminates against the truly untouchables (no, not the gun-toting guys) of our society.

        3. Kukulkan

          It’s SOPA supporters who want content-creators to work for free — or a pittance — since the corporations behind SOPA don’t actually create anything themselves. They hire others to create and then whore out the copyrights for generations while the artist gets nothing.

          They hire others? You mean as in for pay? They pay others to create? Is that what you’re saying?

          Well, they may pay a pittance, but they do pay. The anti-SOPA crowd don’t want to pay anything. They’re quite up front about that. They want content creators to work for nothing. That’s slavery.

  2. Elliot

    So randians are tatting themselves with the sign for Jubilee? They’re stupid enough to carry advertising for the 99% on themselves?

    Of course they are. :)

  3. SidFinster

    A lot of people put chains or weights around their pitbulls’ necks, thinking they are giving their dog a workout and it will come out all buff.

    It doesn’t work like that. A dog’s musculature is pretty well set by its genetics. You can ruin its muscles by poor feeding and lack of exercise, but no amount of “weight-lifting” will make your dog into a canine Conan.

      1. aet

        “World-historic”, huh?

        From Marx’s phrase, it seems that some facts were more “world-historic” than others, eh? Good ol’ Orwell spotted that right away…

        Did Marx also have a “mass media” picking and choosing which facts were, and which were not, “world-historic” for him?

          1. skippy

            LS remember JFK said, it all could have been adverted with a $5 a week raise!

            Skippy… all on the premise of supporting the family, bells?

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I guess it’s the best of all possible worlds that it’s not farce first and then tragedy next…that’d be, uh, tragic.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Finance Addict, after reading the linked blog, I see NO reason why RICO should not be brought to bear against EVERY Agent of the FeddyBankerMoblawyer Agency, including Robosigners living or dead.

      This is a great beginning to something very big of/by/for the People.

    2. Schemp

      I don’t claim to know what I’m talking about when it comes to RICO, but one of the most interesting offhand comments I heard Bill Black use was that RICO would just make prosecuting fraud in banking more difficult by raising the burden for proof. I think he indicated that there were plenty of statues without resorting to RICO.

      I’m all for prosecutions, however they happen, RICO or no.

  4. René

    “It’s high time we make the necessary quantum leaps that will allow us to start joining the dots. We need to move away from silo mentality paradigms, and towards a much more holistic Weltanschauung. We have become too “specialised,” which leads to narrow-mindedness. We talk about finance but never join the dots on its geopolitical overtones. We talk about politics but are blind to underlying social forces. We think Hollywood is only about “entertainment,” not realising how they implant ideas and behaviour patterns into our collective psyche.”

    http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28956

    1. René

      “Teachers are certified by subject matter. Perfectly good mathematics teachers may not be able to write literate essays. English teachers are not required to understand even elementary algebra. The schools do not employ hommes de monde. And what is true in the primary and secondary schools is also true in colleges and universities. Les spécialistes rule the classroom. Trained monkeys all!”

      http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28852

      1. aet

        I don’t want to learn calculus from an English professor,
        nor do I wish to be taught the philosophy of literature by my lecturer in physics.

        I would also like for my applied engineering courses to be led by engineers, and not by people expert in the fields of primary and pre-school education.

        And I don’t want to be taught about nephrology by the fellow teaching me the Rules of Civil Procedure, either.

        And I don’t want to learn French from English speakers.

        1. Capo Regime

          You miss the point. Its about well rounded and truly educated people teaching. Yeesh, you can;t make this stuff up….

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          You can learn a lot about French from English speakers.

          You learn, for example, not to pronounce French words certain accented ways…unless they sound cute or romantic that way (unfortunately, it works better the other way – learning accented English from French speakers).

          In Zen, there is a saying – everywhere is the practice hall.

          How do you enter Zen? Hear the sound of that water falling? Through that.

          1. Valissa

            Mountains and rivers do not conflict.
            Grasses and trees live harmoniously.
            Nature itself manifests loving-kindness.
            Eighty-four thousand delusions
            Cover the eyes of man.
            He dreams the whole world In a fighting mood.
            He does not see the morning star
            In the same way as Buddha did.
            Unless he enters into deep Zazen
            And emancipates himself
            From his own conflicts,
            He cannot comprehend
            The beautiful cooperation of this Universe.

            RJAJRPO – Bunan (1602-76), Rinzai school, waka poem
            http://viewoftheblue.com/frankspage/zenquo.html

          2. F. Beard

            Grasses and trees live harmoniously.

            Not from what I’ve read. Plants use chemical warfare on each. And Nature is “red in tooth and claw” without any help from man.

            But one day there will be harmony …

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Specializaion – that’s like politicians becoming professional thus necessitating the need for professional citizens to manage professional politicians.

      We can reverse this by establishing a Global Non-proliferation of Professionalism (GNP) pact.

      By the way, the best method, which has been around since the Sumerians, if not earlier – think Neanderthals – I imagine, for improving one’s dot-connecting ability is to star-gaze…lots of dots up there.

    3. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Rene, your LINK to “War for Total Control” at Global Research.ca is vitally important.

      The piece, “War for Total Control” by Adrian Salbuchi, which begins with a discussion of “The Invisible Man,” is a MUST-READ — everyone at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com should delve into this piece and report back to us all. This is a CARDINAL statement, a virtual Manifesto for We the People, now clearly in grave danger within the bubble of illusion.

      YVES, if you have not read this piece, please do so ASAP, and share with us.

      William K. Black, Michael Hudson, Chris Hedges, Abigail Caplovitz Field, are you listening?

  5. skippy

    Video Proof of Unjust Mass Arrest and Media Spin at Occupy Oakland 1/28/12- OakFoSho Ustream footage
    http://www.youtube.com

    Don’t know if this has been submitted? BTW great video.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354.500-revealed–the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world.html

    One thing won’t chime with some of the protesters’ claims: the super-entity is unlikely to be the intentional result of a conspiracy to rule the world. “Such structures are common in nature,” says Sugihara.

    Newcomers to any network connect preferentially to highly connected members. TNCs buy shares in each other for business reasons, not for world domination. If connectedness clusters, so does wealth, says Dan Braha of NECSI: in similar models, money flows towards the most highly connected members. The Zurich study, says Sugihara, “is strong evidence that simple rules governing TNCs give rise spontaneously to highly connected groups”. Or as Braha puts it: “The Occupy Wall Street claim that 1 per cent of people have most of the wealth reflects a logical phase of the self-organising economy.”

    So, the super-entity may not result from conspiracy. The real question, says the Zurich team, is whether it can exert concerted political power. Driffill feels 147 is too many to sustain collusion. Braha suspects they will compete in the market but act together on common interests. Resisting changes to the network structure may be one such common interest.

    We have been here before but, the effort is ongoing.

    Skippy… OO and OakFoSho thank you!

    1. lambert strether

      A scale free network is vulnerable at the hubs.

      However, since scale free networks are fractal, breaking the network into subnets still leaves them scale free i.e., with the 1% at the top of the power curve, and a long tail of the 99%. Of course, less extreme power curves may increase quality of life at the long tail end, but that remains to be seen….

          1. skippy

            To both LS and LBR,

            My main curiosity as a physics modeler is attraction and the laws of it. This is where the rubber meets the road in my mind.

            Skippy… the attraction bit is not, hard to phantom, yet the hardest to value.

          2. CB

            As I read it, any node with connections is a hub. In scale free networks, just a handful are heavily connected.

            Is spellcheck too expensive?

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      skippy, no evident *conspiracy* is necessary if you’re born into the .01% “My way or the Highway” Klan. It’s *SOLE AGENCY “R” US.* –“That’s just the way it is.” — Right? I mean, to be CLEAR: “Our Way is the THE WORLD GIVEN–As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.” [Proclamation in the “Book of Common Prayer” of the AngloChristianImperial Dominion.) This is the *God-given World* of the .01% and their Agents.

      The ANGLOImperial *conspiracy* is INHERENT to *Dynastic Feudalism* and *Dynastic Capitalism*, which are designed to ENSURE the RETENTION of .01% Klan wealth and property within the .01% GENE POOL from “generation to generation” — usually by granting the .01% Klan Estate by “inheritance” after the Patriarch’s/Matriarch’s death to the FIRST-BORN MALE by “RIGHT” OF PRIMOGENITURE. This is an intergeneration LOCK-UP of .01% wealth and property within *Capitalist* infrastructure (*Laws*) as a *GOD-GIVEN RIGHT.”
      History shows how this system worked in AngloImperial IRELAND: The first-born Male carried on the Klan Dynastic Empire with all of the *goods* so that all of the other Males became Roman Catholic Priests, and *God help the women.* In ENGLAND, the “Other Males” became Soldiers, Soldiers of Fortune, Anglican Priests, etc., and “God help the women.” This description of *How It Works* is approximate, because the *harsh reality* is so complex.

      In C.20, how does the unspoken *conspiracy* work? As ever, through the complicity of “religious leaders” who keep the masses in tow for the .01%. A case in point: There can be no doubt that a certain off-sides “Mein Kampf” for C.21″ was written to rally the *Reactionary* troops for .01% “NOBILITY” DOMINION. I refer to the infamous book–required reading at the University of DALLAS (an OPUS DEI stronghold)–by the Jesuit-trained Portuguese author Plinio Correa de Oliveira: “NOBILITY and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII: A Theme Illuminating American Social History” (York PA, The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP)–“a registered name of The Foundation for a Christian Civilization, Inc.”, 1993). The Foreword is by the “NOBILITY” sycophant, Morton C. Blackwell, whose laurels are given as follows.

      “The Honorable Morton C. Blackwell is president of The Leadership Institute and the Republican National Committeeman of Virginia. In the Reagan White House, he was Special Assistant to the President for Public Liaison (1981-1984), with responsibility for religious, veteran, and conservative groups. He supervised the youth effort for Ronal Reagan in the 1980 Election Campaign. A leading conservative n the Republican Party, Mr. Blackwell Specializes in political education and training.” {Did he *initiate* Karl Rove, a Texas Mormon who resembles Himmler to an alarming degree in mind and body?]

      This book is a masterpiece of *Reactionary” rationalization, as was Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” which served the same purpose in different words for different ears. The “NOBILITY” for *THE WORLD GIVEN* now includes the displaced NOBILITY of the “Lost Cause” of The Old Confederacy, the .01% Corporate *Aristocracy*, and the “Noble* Soldiers of the U.S. Marine Corps, among others who SERVE the Holy Roman Reich IV in Common Cause with the “poor” *European Nobility* who were displaced by, you guessed it, “the Jews.”

      Author COREY ROBIN explores the MIND of the idolators of the *deep delved earth* [Keats] who see themselves as the Keepers of the Flame of the Global .01% *Blood and Soil NOBILITY* in “THE REACTIONARY MIND: The Truth About the Conservative Mind: Why Reactionaries from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin Have Fought Real Liberty” — excerpted from the original at:
      http://www.truth-out.com on 29 January 2012.

      It is instructive to behold the agenda of “NOBILITY and Analogous Traditional Elites …” within the FRAME of “THE REACTIONARY MIND.” It is instructive to behold these within the FRAME of Guido Giacomo Preparata’s masterpiece: “CONJURING HITLER: How Britain and America Made the Third Reich” (London and Ann Arbor MI, Pluto Press, 2005)–which FRAMES as well the remarkable book of revelations by Chris Hedges: “AMERICAN FASCISTS: The Christian Right and the War on America” (New York, Free Press, 2006), which may be seen as the Apotheosis of the Reactionary “God and Man at Yale” by Reactionary Emperor William f. Buckley, Jr. for YALE and the Rhodes Trust within the Frame of the Holy Roman Reich III-IV in America.

      The extreme outcome of this desperate *Conspiracy* is the End-Game of Financial Lebensraum by the .01% and their Agents in Banking and Government, reaching its climax of degeneracy in 2008, and the Military-Industrial-Police End-Game of “Endless War” and the Security State of the U.S.A., as Militant ENFORCER of the agenda of the .01% GLOBAL *NOBILITY*, which is a de facto “Foreign Power” in Constitutional terms.

      What is revealed in the above SET of written works is the AGENCY of “THE REACTIONARY MIND” AT WORK — in order to maintain the Ultraconservative STATUS QUO ANTE any Revolution of/by/for the People anywhere. Does this TALK like a *Conspiracy* and WALK like a *Conspiracy*?

      If this is not a Conspiracy, then what is it?

      There ALWAYS was/is/will be a CONSPIRACY against *UPPITY AGENCY* that threatens the Status Quo of the .01% since time immemorial. This is why the OCCUPY MOVEMENT of/by/for the PEOPLE *ACTING OUT* their AUTHORITY as AGENTS for themselves within a DEMOCRACY (whether *Capitalist* or Other) is REVOLUTIONARY, and a dire threat to the FIXED SYSTEMS of the .01% and their Agents for the 1% Totality.

      And so, OCCUPY Charlotte 2012:

      BILL BLACK/YVES SMITH 2012: UPPITY AGENTS UNITE!
      Chris Hedges: Secretary of State

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Correction of ERROR in LINK to Truth-Out site, above. LINK DO-OVER:

        http://www.truth-out.org

        My apologies. But, hey, ERROR is proof of my humanity. Error is NOT *failure*. Only the willful concealment of error is failure.

  6. Abigail Caplovitz Field

    Re the AG settlement, another big problem is that the AGs have no real sense of what the deal is. AG Masto makes that clear in a detailed letter I discuss here: http://abigailcfield.com/?p=876

    Re the pitbull story, as the proud and happy ‘owner’ of a 100% pitbull (rescued as a pup from a NYC dumpster) it breaks my heart how frequently these loving, patient, smart (and boy oh boy stubborn) animals are mistreated and unnecessarily feared.

    1. lambert strether

      “the AGs have no real sense of what the deal is”

      Gee, that’s odd. You’d think the Obama administration would be communicating that clearly. BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Ms. Field, thank you so much for your good work on behalf of We the People; it really helps to have a competent *lawyer* on our side.

      What disturbs me, among many other things, is that *Feddy* [term for The Federal Government on “The Sopranos”) is employing a “beggar-thy-neighbor” approach by effectively pitting corrupt AGs (Feddy Agents) against non-corrupt AGs (StateCitizen Agents), LUMPING them all together IN ORDER to effect the desired *FeddyBankerMoblawyer* OUTCOME: a DEAL that castrates State AGs as Agents by Law for StateCitizens now and FOREVER. This must be contrary to Constitutional Law in some way.

      Are the corrupt AGs not de facto CONSPIRATORS with *FeddyBankerMoblawyer*; are they not “Accessories After the Fact” of complex FRAUDS designed by .01% Agents to deceive and exploit the *Other*?

      These are Financial/Lexical *Crimes Against Humanity* brought via the Agents of a Foreign Power (.01% Transnational Monopoly Finance Cartel) within our highest Office of Federal and State Government. Involved in this matter are Acts of Organized Crime and by Acts of Treason.

      Bring RICO. Bring “The Tyrannicide Brief.” OCCUPY Charlotte 2012:

      BILL BLACK/YVES SMITH 2012: UPPITY AGENTS UNITE!
      Chris Hedges: Secretary of the State
      Abigail Caplovitz Field: Attorney General of the U.S.A.
      Michael Hudson: Secretary of the Treasury

    3. Walter Wit Man

      Thanks for the link and the nice post.

      As I read Masto’s letter those seem like excellent questions–the fact she has to ask those very questions reveals that the deal is a scam.

  7. KnotRP

    Mr. Roach doesn’t get it:

    > Second, I suggested that the 1 per cent vs. 99 per cent
    > battle cry of the Occupy movement has little to do with
    > failings of the capitalist system, itself. Today’s income
    > disparities are global in scope – at historic extremes in
    > state-directed socialist systems such as China, as well
    > as in market-based capitalist systems of the west.
    >
    > …
    >
    > My insights hardly moved this crowd.

    Apparently, when Corporate/Banking interests obtain complete control over multiple national governments, economists are unable to recognize it(even though there is a word for it)….perhaps it’s because their pay depends
    upon not recognizing it?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Craazyman, are you going to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday?

        I think I am going to watch the Salad Bowl…one vegetable beating up another vegetable, quite fascinating if you are into that kind of things.

        1. craazyman

          I dunno Beef. I’d love to watch it but I don’t have a TV. Threw it away 6 months ago after 25 years.

          The sound hadn’t worked for the last 12 years, unless I stuck a tie pin in the earphone jack and pressed it hard to the side until something connected. Then I stuffed a paper towel balled up against it to hold the angle. Even that didn’t work all the time.

          But I painted the paper towel ball black to blend in with the TV’s plastic casing. It looked like new if you squinted.

          I’m too lazy to go buy a new TV & don’t know how to hook it up anyway.

          I’ll figure all this out Sunday, probably. Maybe I’ll go to a TV store and watch the game on 24 TVs at once. Somehow I’ll watch the game, somewhere.

  8. Susan the other

    Re NYPD spokesman, Paul Browne. Interesting that his boss, NYPD Chief Ray Kelly did a stint at Treasury in a “top position” in the 90s and than headed up the US Customs Service. Isn’t the FBI under Treasury? Something as useful as COINTELPRO would never be disbanded.

    1. craazyman

      what did they do with it after they took it from him?

      I bet they could sell it for a few million pounds and give the money to Occupy.

  9. justanotherobserver

    Monsanto- quite possibly the greatest evil of our time.
    enslave the world via the food supply – and wall st. will love them for it.

  10. Susan the other

    Yasha Levine. Amagi! How amusing. Libertarians returning to the womb. Home of the brave. That is kind of like born-again Christians. Libertarians want to shake off their debt to society and live freely, like hippies? (I see the Kochs with tats, dredlocks and broken sandals.) BAs want to shake off their guilt and start over. So it is also interesting that the idea of such debt-forgiveness came from ancient Sumeria. As old as civilization. Here’s the question then: If this is such a long-held remedy for the injustices of debt-poverty, why are the Kochs et al redefining it as if Social Security were an injustice. This is propaganda taken to a new level. Pre-emptive translations used to rewrite ancient history. As usual; a little bit of truth and a whole lotta bullshit.

  11. Susan the other

    Christie and the New Jersey Port Authority jobs. A little disconcerting in view of the byzantine connections that the NY Port Authority had with the World Trade Center. And how very red-necked Chris Christie is.

    1. Sock Puppet

      Port Authority jobs are and always have been patronage jobs. Same with the Parkway and Turnpike Commission. Just part of the corruption tax/protection money one pays to live in the Soprano State.

      Port Authority of New York and New Jersey controls the port of Newark/Elizabeth, NYC area airports, airport buses, PATH train, WTC, major bridges and tunnels, bus terminal, and a whole bunch more.

      Lautenberg and some other local lawmakers are trying to get it back under federal oversight to restore some transparency to its workings. If that works I guess they’ll be federal patronage jobs going forward.

  12. AccruedDisinterest

    The Little Ice Age was just an early liberal plot to raise taxes on the fiefdom….Al Gore’s ancesters made bags of coin from their travelling climate conferences. Imagine, if you can, the difficulty in making a Power Point presentation before the onslaught of electricity.

  13. Hugh

    The Roach piece reads as unintentional comedy.

    Speaking over hisses, I tried to stick to my expertise as an economist.

    and

    It was Maria who had the final word: “The aim of Occupy is to think for yourself. We don’t focus on solutions. We want to change the process of finding solutions.” The crowd roared its approval and surged towards the stage. I made a hasty exit through a secret door in the kitchen and out into the night.

    Roach’s “well-meaning” obliviousness can not and should not hide the fact that he is acting in bad faith. Capitalism failed on September 15, 2008. What we have now is state sponsored zombie capitalism. Like its previous version, its purpose is to serve as a vehicle of elite looting. His distinctions are spurious. Capitalism spawned the kleptocracy we have now and yes, it is a worldwide phenomena. Many names, many special circumstances but the same elite looting everywhere.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Many names…

      A theft by any other name is still a theft.

      What’s in a name? that which we call a theft
      By any other name would stink as bad.

      I think the key lesson here from the poet is, do not trust words…the Zen aversion to language.

  14. Susan the other

    Ozone is a greenhouse gas that occurs when UV light interacts with pollution in the higher atmosphere and with car exhaust at groud level. So if we clean up our air pollution we will nosedive into a mini ice age? Lovely.

    1. gordon

      I’m not so sure about Mann’s interpretation. And the formation of ozone in the upper atmosphere is a natural process which has nothing to do with pollution. Ozone is a very valuable thing to have in the upper atmosphere (where nobody lives, so it’s not dangerous there) because it reduces UV radiation falling on the surface (where people do live). Pollution from eg chlorofluorocarbons can however break down upper-atmosphere ozone through a complicated series of chemical reactions, leading to formation of “ozone holes”.

      Formation of ground-level ozone (which is dangerous) has a lot to do with pollution, however.

  15. Walter Wit Man

    Re Dayen’s post at FDL re the state mortgage fraud settlement discussions . . .

    Et tu Taibbi?

    How can he be so gullible/hopeful?

    1. Even if robosigning is the lessor crime it is still helpful to go after all the crimes and work up the chain of command. We have the biggest police state in the world and all these agencies and prosecutors can start chipping away at this vast criminal enterprise.

    If one was going after the mafia wouldn’t one prosecute the lower level people for lesser crimes, running numbers for instance, to get at the boss who is laundering money, selling drugs, and evading taxes?

    The ONLY Attorney General that I see being remotely serious is Masto. Is she the only AG that has indicted people for “robosigning” practices?

    2. Taibbi is falling for a very cynical political play when he falls for the scam about the release of liability being “narrowed.” First, Taibbi doesn’t know shit about the negotiations and we haven’t seen any actual terms. Just look at Masto’s letter to see how secretive the process is–she doesn’t even know what the release language is.

    These political operatives are taking advantage of complicated legal issues and throwing a bunch of dust in the air to obscure a very simple reality–the politicians and prosecutors are assisting powerful financial criminals in evading justice. The fact they are playing these games (the list of 10 or 12 things that got “narrrowed”) is proof positive of their intent.

    Why in the world would Taibbi give Obama or any of these state AG’s credit for not releasing criminal liability? This is his standard for good negotiation? Hmm, that’s very odd that Taibbi seems like such a rabble rouser but when it comes to the most elemental aspect of holding the financial elite to account for their crimes Taibbi blinks.

    Why were any AG’s even considering negotiating this without ANY investigation? I mean it’s bad enough the state AGs didn’t prosecute the laws against rich people like they do average peopole, but to let them buy their way out of jail without the state even conducting an investigation? I haven’t done the leg work but there have to be numerous legal ethics opinions saying this is bad. Maybe like with most things there is an exception for the important people.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Agreed, Taibbi is giving Obama an inexpicable pass, twice now, like someone quite suddenly yanked him back into the veal pen. Maybe the specter of Newt or Mitt is just too terrifying for “liberal” journalists” to contemplate, so they grasp at the hollow straws Obama offers.

      In an earlier piece on the SOTU, “Is Obama’s ‘Economic Populism’ for Real?” he concludes,

      “The administration is clearly listening to the Occupy movement. Whether it’s now acting on their complaints, or just trying to look like it’s doing something, is another question. It’s way too early to tell.”

      Say what? After an unbroken three-year record of deceit and betrayal, it’s “way to early to tell”? You must be kidding. What a chump! I wonder if Taibbi plays poker.

      A related article from NYT pictures HUD Sec Sean Donovan, Schneiderman, and Eric (Place) Holder discussing the two track investigation-settlement process:

      “Mr. Donovan said that a separate settlement being worked out between state attorneys general and mortgage servicing companies would not thwart the new group’s investigations, even if the settlement released companies from further law enforcement efforts related to mortgage servicing.

      “’We would not be standing here today if we were not absolutely confident,” Mr. Donovan said, adding that any releases being contemplated “are narrow enough to allow us to go forward aggressively.’”

      Amazing. Apparently, they have high confidence in the stupidity of the American public and columnists like Taibbi.

      1. JerryDenim

        I think its more likely someone, as in Taibbi’s boss- Rolling Stone Magazine, is yanking his chain and reigning him in a bit. Even Taibbi has to eat and I can’t imagine another publication giving him a podium and a pay check comparable to Rolling Stone. It could be the editorial staff has decided his constant trumpet of corruption, doom and depravity on high is just too depressing for RS’s target demographic, or it could be Rolling Stone has Democratic loyalities which demand a certain level of deference and soft reporting in an election year. Either way I imagine Taibbi is just as skeptical of the administration’s latest political machinations as ever, but for some reason he has been muzzled, at least for the moment. You never know maybe Goldman Sachs and Rahm Emanuel paid HB Gary to hack his computer and blackmail the poor guy. Such an about-face seems fishy.

      2. Walter Wit Man

        Yep. Doesn’t pass the smell test.

        There is no justification for Mr. Donovan’s “confidence” or Taibbi’s hope.

        In fact, the exact opposite approach is called for: skepticism.

        Hell, at this point, skepticism is too optimistic because it implies that analyzing their promises and putting pressure on them is a useful exercise. But that’s wasted effort.

        Attacking these jerks is the only viable strategy. The can’t be trusted and need to be removed from office.

        I’m wondering if many of them haven’t committed crimes as well by taking a dive on the investigations and prosecution. Plus, there is a revolving door and many conflict of interests.

        The entire American legal and political system is a vast criminal enterprise.

  16. gordon

    The kerfuffle about the meaning of some Sumerian puts me in mind of Gwendolyn Leick’s book “Mesopotamia: The Invention of the City”. One of the things I remember from that book is the likely large role taken by bureaucratic organisations (the temples, the state) in organising economic production. I’m therefore surprised that libertarians should claim ancient Mesopotamia as showing the antiquity of liberal-capitalism. On the contrary, I would have thought that history shows it to be a late development.

  17. JTFaraday

    From the eXtarD:

    “If you go onto one of the Liberty Fund’s project websites, the Library for Economics & Liberty, you’ll find this ancient cuneiform symbol at the footer of the home page.”

    OMG– I love that site. Chock full of free things everyone should read. For free. For legally for free.

    http://libertyfund.org/resources.html

    I might have to go out and get that freetard moocher tattoo…

    :<)

  18. Glenn Condell

    ‘Dozens of Port Authority jobs go to Christie loyalists’

    Someone tell Mish SHedlock.

    Shedlock the other day:

    ‘The Republican party needs a new torch bearer. New Jersey governor Chris Christie walked away from the opportunity. Christie was not the perfect candidate, rather he was an acceptable candidate.’

    He has toned down the love a bit, but still carries a flame for Christie. For some reason the other Koch-****er Scott Walker has fallen off the Shedlock Xmas list, but he still loves Christie on the basis that he manfully fights publicly funded pork. Or rather union-related publicly-funded pork. 1%er-front man pork is AOK it seems.

  19. scraping_by

    Re: Gingrich and Bibi —

    The author ends with a warning that Obama will take revenge on the Israeli right wing going with with heart and Gingrich instead of with its head and anyone else.

    This is risible. Barry will obey the bankers who own him. If they need a military outpost in the Middle East, he’ll defend the Jewish State to the last drop of American blood. If they’ve decided they can keep petrodollars without it, the plug will be pulled.

    This reminds me of the days thirty years ago when Serious People would say “Reagan wants this” or “Reagan thinks that.” It was little surprise when he was discovered to be an actor with no great preference who fed him his lines. Figure out the interests of TOWRO (The ones who run Obama) and you’ve figured out the national policy.

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