Links 2/24/12

Cat Saves Owner’s Life Just Hours After Being Adopted Huffington Post (hat tip reader Francois T)

Mild drought ’caused Maya fall’ BBC

Homeland Analysts Told to Monitor Policy Debates in Social Media New York Times (hat tip reader scraping by). Big Brother is indeed watching you! But the monitoring looks to be so broad as to simply create a lot of false positives.

Selecting a Seatmate for Friendlier Flying New York Times. OMG, another scheme to get people to put even more of their lives on view! All I want on a flight next to me is someone who leaves me alone and is not so fat that they spill into my space.

Apple yields to governance reform call Financial Times

Senseless Chinese capital expenditure: Trina Solar edition John Hempton. China indicator.

Canadian bubble trouble MacroBusiness

So, what would your plan for Greece be? Crooked Timber. Deus ex Macchiato tells us this is better known as Dungeons and Draghi.

Europe’s credit crunch is still to come MacroBusiness

Bretton Woods uncovered (a scoop, of sorts) Jeremy Warner, Telegraph

Affordable Care Act’s Popularity Continues to Decline Jon Walker, Firedoglake

Romney’s Favorable Numbers Tanking Jon Walker, Firedoglake

Holder Defends Efforts to Fight Financial Fraud New York Times. Have your barf bag handy.

Pension gap spells trouble for muni bonds Gillian Tett, Financial Times (hat tip reader Scott)

Pensions Find Private Equity Bites as Blackstone Cuts Jobs Bloomberg

Tinseltown, Ghost Town New York Times (hat tip reader Balaji)

Gross Rebuts Cooperman on Treasuries Bloomberg. Dueling meal ticket defenses!

FDIC Lawsuits Yielded Big Penalties, But Bankers Haven’t Paid Up Reuters (hat tip Lisa Epstein)

The Divide Between Banking and Bankruptcy
New York Times. OMG, for once Bryan Marsal and yours truly agree on something.

Big Banks Squeeze Billions in Profits from Public Budgets SEIU. Today’s must read.

Antidote du jour (hat tip reader xyzfritz):

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Jim3981

    For those interested in the Mayans. You may want to check out this article that suggests the Mayans made it up in to Georgia.

    What makes it so interesting is an archaeologist comes along and posts this in the comments section under the original article:

    “I am the archaeologist Mark Williams mentioned in this article. This is total and complete bunk. There is no evidence of Maya in Georgia. Move along now.”

    “A recent article “Ruins in Georgia mountains possibly linked to ancient Mayans” has become a very popular topic on The article presents evidence to support a position long held by the Creek, Cherokee and Chitimacha Indians; namely that sea-going merchants, illiterate farmers and escaped slaves fled Mesoamerica during a period of chronic wars, drought and volcanic eruptions, then settled in what is now the Southeast and Mississippi Basin.

    Although already generating approximately 81,000 “Likes” on Facebook, the article has also generated considerable controversy. A group of archaeology professors in the Southeast have vigorously objected to the article and created a separate web site to organize opposition to it. Numerous archaeologists from around North America, however, have also placed positive comments on the article.”

    1. Eeyores enigma

      What is not said in the Maya article is the fact that drought was only a problem because they had become so populated and complex.

      It’s not the drought, it is over population and complexity and yes we have serious reason to be concerned.

      1. Birch

        They love to leave that part out. It doesn’t fit with the current meme that no civilization before has faced serious limitations from natural resources, so how can we be expected to be prepared for it now.

        1. Skippy

          My reading has it at a rolling secession of drought in 50ish year intervals and yes exacerbated by capacity overload.



          Between a.d. 760 and 930, millions of Maya disappeared from the Earth. We examine changes in the physical environment in which the Maya lived. The ice-core evidence from Greenland indicates that around the time of the Maya Collapse, a minimum in solar insolation and a low in solar activity occurred, accompanied by severe cold and dryness over Greenland, indicating hemispheric climatic conditions propitious for drought in the Maya Lowlands. In the northeastern Caribbean, sea-surface salinity (SSS) was lowered. The most severe drought of the past 7,000 years devastated the Yucatan Peninsula. Large Maya cities collapsed in four phases of abandonment spaced about fifty years apart around a.d. 760, 810, 860, and 910. A new core taken from Lake Chichancanab in Quintana Roo shows three peak episodes of brutal drought within a 150- to 200-year drought. A marine core from the Cariaco Basin off Venezuela precisely dates four severe drought episodes to 760, 810, 860, and 910, coincident with the four phases of abandonment of cities. The long-term drought appears to have lasted from 760 to 930 in the Cariaco Basin. The climatic changes were the most drastic the Maya had faced in the preceding 1,500 years and the most severe of the preceding 7,000 years.


          Skip here…. If memory serves, a non academic hobbyist mayan researcher was the first to offer this theory. It was met with massive rebuttal from the classicists at first, man only diminishes man, war, loss of religious cohesion, fractional political infighting, thingy.

          Skippy…. the palliative at the time was more plaster for the temples and more sacrifices! We will repeat!

          More cats… cool cats… modern cats:

          1. Skippy

            Yep, the heavens are always our undoing.

            Skippy… gotta lov the plot: The film begins as a delirious archaeologist stumbles into his group’s camp without his partner, both of whom having been exploring a cave. He becomes mad, requiring hospitalization. Their interest piqued, the group sets out for the cave.

            “Their interest piqued”…. ROFLOL.

    2. Susan the other

      Thanks Jim for the article on The People of One Fire. Their research into language is the most interesting thing. Specific words and place names connecting the native Americans to Meso America. It’s too bad archeologists are such a jealous lot. There are so many accounts of them undermining each other. To my thinking the connection proved by language is undeniable and so it is reasonable to speculate on the other evidence as well.

      As I read the article I wondered about the relative dates of the Mound Builder civilization and the Maya. I’ve always thought the Maya date much farther back in time but those crazy archeologists refuse to even research it. I think they think it would undermine Christianity; like the rabid way the trashed Thor Hyerdahl.

      But I know that the Mound Builders date back some 10,000 years, if not more. And civilizations in the Southwest also date back that far. Yet Maya civilization, they say, only dates to 1000 BCE. So who is to say that the migration didn’t go from north to south? The sophistication of the Mayan Calendar and their mathematics should have shown up in the migrating population in some form, no? Aligning all the towns to the solstices and equinoxes isn’t convincing as evidence because this occurs all over the world.

      The language connection, to me, seals the deal. They were closely connected. The People of One Fire is such a poetic name it carries its own truth.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I am always why one name and not the other.

        In this case, why People of One Fire, and not, People of One Mother?

        Immigrants? Multi-culturalism based on no other fires before One Fire?

      2. Birch

        Because of our reliance on fossil fuels we like to assume that people didn’t get around very much before trains and planes and big boats. We can’t imagine travelling across the continent by canoe or crossing the ocean in a skin boat, but such great adventures were a part of life when there wasn’t an alternative.

        The Maya were a recent civilization. The Olmec preceeded them and left lots of remains. Most civilizations left no remains because if you live with the Earth, your waste is generally biodegradable.

        To build simplistic concepts of rare great migrations, such as people crossing a land bridge once or twice then moving slowly and steadily southward to fill the continent, is laughable. It’s like finding a handful of clues and assuming it represents all relavent information.

        I think language and place name similarities are great clues, though.

    3. Lambert Strether

      People who are interested in this topics might look at 1491, about the cultures of the Americas before Columbus. The concept of the Amazon basin as an “edible forest,” as designed, as the world’s largest work of art…. Well, it’s a popular work (though there are plenty of citations) and readers who are specialists will correct me, but it really changed my picture of the world in a lot of ways, especially about food production, what “civilization” looks like, and so on.

    4. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Jim3981, the Chitimacha were settled around what is now Donaldsonville, LA when the first French explorers came to that area on the banks of the Mississippi River. They specialized in basket weaving, among other things.

      The later emigrated across the Atchafalaya Basin into the *Cajun country* to the West.

      “Lafourche des Chetimaches” [The Fork of the Chitimacha] was the original name of the location where the DISTRIBUTARY known as “Bayou Lafourche” parted company with the major flow of the Mississippi River. The land here and around here was known as “Lafourche des Chetimaches” and this land later became known as “Donaldsonville” after Mr. Donaldson bought up the property of the LANDRY Colonial residents for the most part. Maps shown at The Historic New Orleans Collection during “Francofete” showed the old name for what became Donaldsonville: Lafourche des Chetimaches.

      Bayou Lafourche was dammed at the Mississippi River for political/financial reasons of the 1% dominant at the time, to favor locks upriver that served the interests of Sun Oil, among others.

      “Bayou Lafourche” was the natural course of the Mississippi River centuries ago, before it changed course. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has FIXED the course of the Mississippi River ever since the Louisiana Purchase turned the port of New Orleans the *United States Port of New Orleans*.

      “Donaldsonville” became the SACRIFICE on the altar of Oi/Gas/Chemicals PROFITS for the .01% and its .99% Agency of Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and the U.S. Military-Industrial Complex.

  2. skylark

    The mountain gorillas are indeed beautiful. My daughter, who is an anthropologist in Rwanda, tells me that many different groups from the Community of Potters, once known as Pygmies,were displaced to fairly inhospitable locations to make way for preserves for these gorillas. Sigh.

    1. tom allen

      Well, we apes are actually pretty decent creatures. Until overcrowding takes place. In which case, like most other mammals, we turn on each other. :-(

      1. tom allen

        And now that I’ve seen the video, it’s clear the gorillas were amused at the little naked ape who came to visit. And the little naked ape was happy to oblige. Pretty cool. :-)

        1. just me

          But why did the man never make eye contact with the gorillas? Never reach back, never complete the connection? Ach, it hurts!

          I’m on a Beauty and the Beast kick right now (saw the 3-D) and my computer wallpaper now is the prince’s face at the moment Beast has transformed back into a human. You know it’s still him because of his eyes. But in the gorilla youtube, the guy never looked into the gorillas’ eyes! Ach, it hurts!

          The guy who animated Beast said Beast was very personal to him, that Beast WAS him… He modeled Beast after several animals, including a gorilla. So twang. Here’s something bittersweet and strange: I saw Disney’s Tarzan after that, and in that movie he was the animator of Tarzan. And there’s a scene that’s kind of the mirror flip of Beast’s death, because now he’s animating Tarzan the human grieving Kerchak the gorilla as Kerchak dies. Man or beast? Kerchak and Kala have raised Tarzan as their own son and Tarzan’s spent his life trying to become the best gorilla ever, to prove himself to Kerchak, who has never been able to accept him. Even the same words are used: “You came back.” Only now he’s hearing them instead of saying them. And this time Tarzan says, “I came home.” And when Kerchak dies, Tarzan takes his place as alpha gorilla, turning away from his plans to go human. (I wonder if there’s a salute to Beast in that, in a world without magic? Earlier in the film there’s even a teapot and cups that look like a nonenchanted Mrs. Potts and Chip.)

          I love the prince, I love the transformation, I love his face and the release and the joy – but there’s something so deep about Beast – it’s like a month later and I’m still grieving him. Yves’ antidotes du jour set Naked Capitalism apart – a dog whistle – truly antidotes and balms and beacons. Here’s to the deep.

          Tarzan fandub:

          (I am not an economist :-)

          1. LucyLulu

            Probably. It is aggressive in many animal species, including canines, while avoiding eye contact denotes submission. Eye contact is one of the most powerful forms of communication. If you watch two dogs interact for the first time, you can see how it is used to establish dominance. It’s also ill-advised to stare at a dog who is behaving in a menacing fashion as it can trigger them to attack.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      skylark, many wax orgasmic in the presence of gorillas, in a romance of *love* for the Earth’s creatures, while treating human beings outside their sphere with contempt and hostility.

      “Easy to Be Kind” from “HAIR” springs immediately to mind.

  3. craazyman

    @ Flight Seat Neighbors

    Haha I don’t fly much but last year I too the window seat on a flight from O’Hare back to New York and this woman with two young kids plopped down next to me. The kids were fidgety. One next to me, one on her lap. With various gadgets they fiddled with. She kept arranging them and apologizing repeatedly, annoyingly. I was silent and smiled, but finally — maybe since I’d had 4 beers at the airport bar before the flight — after her 9th apology in 3 minutes I said in a voice 5 rows in each direction could hear “They seem pretty cool, but you’re annoying the hell out of me.” I heard some laughter somewhere. She didn’t even blush and kept talking. Finally, I realized she was pretty hot and started chatting her up in a cordial way. She grew on me. By the end of the flight, I actually liked her alot, and even wished she was my wife. We had a very warm — but non-flirtateous and respectful — farewell, as she took her kids off the plane. I guess if she’d been 180 lbs and smelly it wouldn’t have gone down like that. LOL.

    1. tom allen

      LOL. Right after I make my overcrowding comment.

      Actually the kids sound nice and you sound like the dork. But then, so am I. Overcrowding sucks, and a little laughter goes a long ways.

  4. ambrit

    Re.: Homeland security monitoring social media. “Monitoring looks to be so broad as to simply create a lot of false positives.”
    This might be a feature of the system. A lot of false positives, if not filtered for, gives the impression of a large problem which serves Homeland Securities interests. It ‘validates’ HSs existence by ‘discovering’ widespread ‘threats’ that it was created to ‘deal with.’ Secondly, it gives support to calls for expansion of HS to meet ‘burgeoning threats.’ Thirdly, it validates the domestic nature of HS activities by demonstrating the ‘subversive nature’ of the U.S. population!
    This coupled with recent initiatives to encourage ‘paid informers’ within our society perfectly fit the classical model of a Police State. You have been warned.

      1. ambrit

        Dear John L;
        That depends on if you’re really looking for that needle, or if you have designs on the haystack itself.

        1. John L

          Was just in a conversation about health screening, where I was briefly taken in by a piece of pro screening propaganda, and it strikes me that your analysis, with a few keywords changed, is a perfect description of that business too. They have designs on the haystack.

          Airport screening, credit scores, loyalty cards, social media, workplace drug testing, …

          You can play along at home folks!

      2. Walter Wit Man

        A proposed edit:

        If you’re [getting paid] to look for a needle in a haystack first think you want to do is add more hay.

    1. albrt

      False positives should not be a problem for this administration. False positives are easy to deal with – just make sure they aren’t able to talk to the media afterwards.

      Predator drone production = strong buy.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      ambrit, their self-justifying feedback loops work like a charm, especially since their programs are written to their specifications. The FIX is in, in perpetuity.

  5. prostratedragon

    Haven’t played the vid for the antidote, but my hair-trigger inner deejay gave me “Pilgrim’s Chorus” from Tannhauser right away.

    1. prostratedragon

      Guess that’s Pilgrims’ Chorus, unless the artists
      were engaged in a different sort of theater.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      “Alleluia” – are we not the righteous of the universe? “The baby gorilla groomed me, he loves me! Rapture!”

  6. armchair

    What a low blow about having to sit next to fatties and chatties. It is a status thing to talk about how you fly all of the time and you just hate it when your stuck in the vicinity of inferior hogs and dim-witty chatter. Why can’t it be like Pan-Am First Class circa 1972. Those were the days dah-ling.

    1. EH

      You *can* have Pan Am First Class 1972, except that these days it takes the form of a 30″ iMac with an HD webcam.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Flying – one of the few activities left in this great democracy where debt-free apartment renters can hobnob elbow to elbow with underwater, debt-ridden shopping-center tycoons.

      If only life can be more like that!

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      My, aren’t we a mass of resentment looking for an object.

      Nothing I said would lead one to assume that I fly all the time. And it should be clear from the comment I am talking about coach.

      In case you missed it, Americans are getting bigger and seats in coach are not. I pay for a seat and I’ve had fat people encroach into my space.

      1. justanotherobserver

        the spillover is a drag, but I’ve had interesting conversations on planes.

        usually “chatty types” are chatting with another chatty type and are annoying in an indirect manner.

        never really had someone blather on at me directly.

      2. ambrit

        Re. “I’ve had fat people encroach into my space.” The new Austerity measures will soon take care of that. When we say “mean and lean” we mean exactly that.

  7. amen

    “OMG, another scheme to get people to put even more of their lives on view! All I want on a flight next to me is someone who leaves me alone and is not so fat that they spill into my space.”

    The first airline that institutes a selectable “quiet section” will be my fav. for life.

      1. ambrit

        Mr. Allen;
        I’ve been pondering your comment for a while now and suddenly realized why it makes me want to cry, rather than chuckle. I remember going with my Dad to see “2001” when it first came out, in glorious big screen colour. I caught his enthuseasm as we watched. A child of the War, and the resulting Austerity Years in Britain, my Dad wished and prayed for this vision of perfectable mankind to come true. There was a Golden Age! It was soon to come! Most importantly, it was possible.
        Now look at us. If a culture is defined by its’ dreams, then our present iteration is doomed. We have sold our birthright for a mess of CDSs.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        This is where the Beatles got it all wrong.

        You don’t find true gurus on quite mountaintops.

        They are usually found at noisy marketplaces. Only the genuine gurus can meditate there.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      amen, Fat Chance. They are working on eliminating silence altogether. They are PUSHING “books” for children that never shut up. They are creating a generation that will NEVER have known silence, the only human refuge left to us.

      ALL in the world will be NOISE, all private thinking DESTROYED, NOTHING but HELL on earth for the 99%. And *That’s the way they like it.”

      Ah, Death, where is thy sting?”

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            If to me, then let’s see how many at NC agree with you. If a voting majority at NC consider my writing to be NOISE, let it be known, and I’ll quit the site immediately.

            YVES, Lambert, are my comments unwelcome NOISE? I never remain where I am unwelcome, as soon as this be known. Please let me know.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


            I think any one of us is just as capable as any other.

            I am against, or don’t believe in, the concentration of any power, mental, spiritual or physical.

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Again, no. It was not directly at you.

            All my life, I struggle with, fight against and try to help others to overcome that famous mathematical inequality:

            I >>>>>> You.

            I don’t believe that nonsense that girls are not as good as boys in learning that pernicious math inequality.

          4. FaustCarton

            It is always a great thing to read the comments and follow the links that you both post here. Please keep them flowing, just remember we are all experiencing the same mysterious gift of life but through our unique perspectives. Keep the energy directed at the injustices of the .01ers and the beauty of life that still abounds, so brilliantly espoused by Yves and the team in this vital site.

          5. reslez

            I generally skip your comments simply because of the formatting. Too much STUFF like *THIS*.

            Taking a random comment as personal injury and adding a melodramatic threat to leave forever is just another minus.

          6. LeonovaBalletRusse

            rezlez – Are you a psychiatrist? a Worldly Philosopher? a writer of soap operas? a misogynist? or just a mean-spirited SOB?

            My questions were perfectly sincere, and replies show this was understood by all but you.

            Maybe you need some *anger management*?

          7. Lambert Strether

            As far as I’m concerned, I don’t see any site violations here, which is the issue. I didn’t start really asterisk-positive, but now I’m pretty much accustomed to it; we all have our own style.

      1. John L

        Eliminating silence? Stealing it, then selling it back to us, see my Heathrow Express post.

        Also, silence fans, check this out:

        “What is One Square Inch?
        One Square Inch of Silence is the quietest place in the United States. Located in the Hoh Rain Forest at Olympic National Park, it is 3.2 miles from the Visitor’s Center above Mt. Tom Creek Meadows on the Hoh River Trail. Hiking time from the parking lot at the Visitor’s Center to the site is approximately two hours along a gentle path lined by ancient trees and ferns. The exact location is marked by a small red-colored stone placed on top of a moss-covered log at 47° 51.959N, 123° 52.221W, 678 feet above sea level. Directions to the site can be found on the links page.

        One Square Inch of Silence was designated on Earth Day 2005 (April 22, 2005) to protect and manage the natural soundscape in Olympic Park’s backcountry wilderness. The logic is simple; if a loud noise, such as the passing of an aircraft, can impact many square miles, then a natural place, if maintained in a 100% noise-free condition, will also impact many square miles around it. It is predicted that protecting a single square inch of land from noise pollution will benefit large areas of the park.”

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          John L, “air boats” on the water, and *snow mobiles* are the most shattering presence in nature.

    2. JTFaraday

      I used to ride the commuter bus *early* in the morning, fairly long trip, and the construction workers *were the best.* They were getting some extra shut-eye and you weren’t allowed to say “boo.”

      My favorite was the guy who patrolled the Wall Street Journal flapping, waving, snapping the paper types. As soon as he heard it and every time he heard it, he’d snarl under his breath from the back of the bus: “snappin’ the paper… snappin’ the paper.” The corporates soon quit and napped themselves.

      I guess that’s why they needed their i-Phones. (Oh, not that they can make calls on an occupied bus, LOL).

    3. John L

      First (and last) time I took the £18, 15 minute, Heathrow Express, I found a quiet car. The others all have TVs in them. Then the conductor tells me it’s first class and I owe her another 3 quid. So I pony up. Then some dude sits down and starts yakking on his phone.

  8. Benedict@Large

    Regarding the monitoring of social media, a while back when I still had dial up, I suddenly found it almost impossible to connect. It would take dozens of attempts (and sometimes more) to connect, but once I did, the connection was fine. (This went on for almost a month.) I checked everything at my end, and with my provider, checked everything at theirs. There was simply no reason for the problem, so I assumed that a wiretap had been placed, and that whoever placed it had screwed it up. I had to contact whomever was doing the tap, but of course, that couldn’t be known, so I developed a special technique to do so.

    I assumed that the monitoring worked as follows. First, a program would scan what I wrote for trigger words. This program would kick out far too many “positives” for anyone to look at, so these positives would be sent to a second program that would parse the positive sentences for context. These in turn, being far fewer, would be kicked out for actual human review.

    But, I reasoned, what if this program couldn’t parse the context? These too would have to be kicked out for review, and this would be my access to my wiretappers. I began to randomly insert trigger words into my sentences in a manner in which they could not be parsed. I would insert these words into sentences saying that knew I was being wiretapped, that they had screwed up the wiretap, and could they please fix it. Two days later, the problem completely disappeared, and never came back.

    And just to assure you this was no fluke, a fellow chatter about 8 months later had the exact same problem. I described to him what I had done, and he repeated my method. Bingo, his problem too suddenly “cured” itself.

    1. Susan the other

      So words that can’t be parsed by software would have to be the ones with many meanings, allegorical, and some of them meaning the opposite thing. And used in an ambiguous context to boot. That could be a really fun hobby.

        1. John L

          I speak 5 languages, which enables me to guess-read about a dozen more. Hungarian still looks like the bottom row of an eye chart.

          1. evodevo

            That’s because Hungarian is unrelated to any of its neighbors – the language is part of the finnish-ugric group originally from the Ural area. It’s a very old language, older than most European languages.

  9. Benedict@Large

    Interesting to see that the Chicago school system is trapped is a rotted swap deal, as the investment-banker-turned-boy-mayor there pushes for massive cuts in that budget which will certainly require large teacher layoffs. Anyone want to bet Rahm will do absolutely nothing to disturb the neat little nest egg his banker buddies have going?

    1. Susan the other

      From the SEIU article: All major banks have colluded in a nationwide conspiracy to raise fixed interest rates to local governments and school boards. What a shakedown. Is it Antitrust or RICO? If there is some naive soul left out there, somewhere in an attic, who does not already hate the banks with a passion, he/she soon will. Take your own garbage to the dump, boil your drinking water, and don’t worry about education because it doesn’t matter anyway.

      Let’s all take our money out of the bigs and send them a notarized termination fee for damages not just individually but as citizens of our communities. Then demand that the city or county attorney bring action against them for their various and notorious illegal activities and have the sheriff shut them down and lock their doors until the litigation is resolved.

      That is, if any of us can still afford to pay a county attorney.

      1. Lambert Strether

        And this is the same SEIU that nobbled single payer for the so-called “public option” they didn’t even get. Go figure. It would be nice to think they learned something from that.

      2. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Susan, great idea. I wonder if you could and other innovative leaders could get an OSF grant to implement these changes at the local level across the nation.

    2. YankeeFrank

      Yes, and the fact that these banks seemed to know just which way interest rates would be going… seeing as they knew the housing bubble would burst and the Fed, being their lapdog, would lower rates for the duration, they figured another way to get ’em coming and going. With a banking cartel like this, having friends is of little use, and our enemies make those enron traders laughing at Grandma look like saints.

  10. Noni Mausa

    I was also amazed by the gorilla video, but feel I ought to mention for people who don’t realize this, that any one of those gorillas, even the youngsters, could have hurt or killed the man if alarmed. He was rightfully thrilled and awestruck, and I’d love to have been in his place, but there’s a reason he ducked his head and didn’t move at all. There are no safe primates. Really, truly.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The process of assimilation, I think, depends on

      1) time (it takes a long time per Mother Nature. If you are the 1%, and need cheap labor or slaves, as they used to call them when people were honest, the time you need is merely right now).

      2) how many (one stranger vs overhelming strangers)

      3) the initial differences (not that critical, as some sisters or brothers would tell you they will never speak to each other again).

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      NM, so true. Today’s Great White Photo Shooters are living in a ROMANCE with Wild, utterly wild and unpredictable, WILD ANIMALS. What would Joseph Conrad write about this? What could go wrong with this neo-Colonial Romance?

        1. Skippy

          @ambrit… “The World the Children Made”… Great Googlymooggly, what a blast from the past!

          Skippy… and YES don’t let the kids ( liquidity addicts ) back in for a last time!

          PS. FYI, Stephen Colbert read The Veldt for the NPR radio program Selected Shorts before a live audience at Symphony Space.

  11. ep3

    Yves, I have to share my current health care situation.
    I have a 4 year degree in accounting and work for a small firm. My employer does not offer insurance because he gets his thru his wife, as well as i am the only other male, and all the women get their insurance thru their husband’s employer.
    Let me say I have received resistance from him to even consider helping me get a policy. All I ask is him to use his ability as an employer to provide a policy that i would pay for.
    Anyway, I write to tell how I have signed up for BCBS of michigan’s individual policy. I called them directly to sign up. I have no health issues (pre-existing conditions) besides some allergies, which everyone seems to have. So I was told begin scheduling appointments and such as the policy would take effect 2/15. And the bill would be in the mail.
    So I went in to the doctor, he prescribed a couple medicines, and on 2/17, the pharmacist said the meds were not covered. So luckily the meds didn’t put me in danger and I could go back to OTC. On 2/18, my bill finally arrived with a due date of 2/22. It was billed quarterly, which the person who signed me up said I could change when I see fit and that all forms of payment were accepted. On 2/21 i called their customer service to make a payment and was told “we do not accept credit cards over the phone, please go to one of our branches”. Luckily one was close by. I went yesterday. As I reached for my card (terms with cc’s today can sometimes work to a person’s advantage for interest free loans) the person taking my payment said “we do not accept CC here, you need to call a payment in”. I replied “but the person on the phone said you do”. “no we started telling them yesterday not to do that”.
    So I return to my house and make a call to the customer service number. When I finally reached someone, they told me “we have a policy of not taking credit cards, but some regional offices do. there is one 90 miles from your home”. to which i replied “u guys told me 2 days ago all offices do, I am not driving 90 miles to find out you are wrong as well”.
    Then I began telling the CS person that I was told when I signed up for the policy that the phone agent told me I could pay with a CC. To which I was told “BCBS is not responsible for what agents tell customers”. “But this wasn’t the local corner insurance agent, this was someone I reached via the CS number on the web”. “Sir, again we are not responsible for what they tell u”. “So what you are saying is that the agent can tell me anything just to sign me up and even tho they are an employee/representative selling your company’s product, you aren’t held responsible for what they say?”. “Yes that’s correct”. “So how can I be assured I have insurance coverage?”. “Follow your policy handbook”. “So let me get something straight, I pay you to insure/assure that my health care needs are taken care of, and you cannot guarantee/INSURE that that will be satisfied?”. “Sir, as long as you pay your premium and it is covered and follows the rules of your policy handbook, then you are covered”. “Sure doesn’t sound like it”.
    So the person said I have 30 days from after the due date to pay the bill before the policy cancels. So I responded that I was gonna take the next 29 days to think about this because it may not be worth the $150 a month for 35 yr old man, just to make sure I don’t go broke if I break my leg or whatever else.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Yet another sad story of how the system is set up to shake you down rather than provide health care.

      This happens because Congress has exempted this industry from antitrust laws and bad faith insurance torts!

      The bad faith insurance exemption is really important. Basically, it’s really hard to sue a health insurance company. We used to have stronger consumer protection laws (before our courts and legislature went full fascist) and one could sue an insurance company for denying a claim they knew they had to pay. That’s bad faith on their part. You can still sue a normal insurance company (non health care related) for such claims–that’s why other insurance policies pay out quicker and with less of a hassle. They would get sued and have to pay damages if they adopted the shakedown approach that health insurers have adopted.

      The health insurance industry has literally adopted a tortious business model and because our politicians are just as guilty as the insurance parasites they have exempted the health insurers from the laws. They are allowed to prey upon us.

      And what did Obama and the Democrats do? Adopt the right-wing neoliberal plan to further empower these parasites.

      It amazes me liberals and Democrats are so brain dead they think Obama did a good thing with Obamacare. Evidently they think empowering bloodsucking criminal middle men is a good policy.

      Sorry for your hassle. At least we still have bankruptcy–for now (which explains their reluctance to put the health care bill on the credit card–they want to bleed people dry financially and to suck up any available dollars before they send people to bankruptcy).

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      ep3, the TREND is to eliminate credit cards so as to force the People to divulge their bank account numbers, preferably for direct billing in perpetuity.

      All of these TRENDS of Absolute Dictatorship work together. There is no other word for it, it is a Corporate-Banking *conspiracy* to make us slaves to the *Capitalist Totalitarian System*.

      Direct billing from bank accounts serves the same purpose as the RFID chip, which is the next step for all of us, to ENSURE submission to the WILL of the .01% Global Reich and their .99% Agency for the Global Absolute Dictatorship.

      1. ohmyheck

        Exactly. My BCBS insisted that the only way they would take payment would be with automatic withdrawal from my checking account. Period. It’s not like I ever missed a payment.

        The only auto-withdrawals I have attached to my checking account are to various in-bank entities.

        So, I guess I’m a tinfoil-hat wearing CT-er. U.S. Gov’t wants to sign me up for direct payments for my business quarterlies. Ainta gonna happen….

        1. Walter Wit Man

          I’m almost positive the reason for this is bankruptcy concerns–they would rather get cash than get paid by credit card–which could be taken back because of a bankruptcy.

          Of course the industry gives contradictory explanations and we can’t take them at their word so we don’t know the full rationale . . . .

          But the bankruptcy angle makes the most sense to me.

        2. Walter Wit Man

          This article explores a couple of theories, but everyone seems confused :)

          One would think that regulating these billing and payment issues would be a concern to an administration that cares about consumer issues, no?

          Think how much time and money and effort is wasted over these billing concerns . . . . the savings on billing, etc. if we instituted single payer has to be astronomical.

          Almost everyone I know that has a baby or has medical issues knows the hassle of having to negotiate and fight the insurance companies every step of the way.

          1. LucyLulu

            I’ve had to deal with some serious medical issues as well having the routine issues that go along with children. I have never ceased to be amazed at the number of claims I’ve had denied that were covered by my policy. The insurance company will ultimately pay but it requires following up, sometimes several times. And I’ve experienced this with several of the major carriers so it’s an industry-wide phenomenon. I wonder how many people never bother or don’t know they are having their claims improperly denied? I’m positively convinced this is part of their business model. Now I have Medicare and have no issues at all with improper claim denials.

            My best story involved a changeover mid-year to COBRA after my divorce. I had met my $300 deductible and the company was insisting my deductible restarted. I spoke with both a rep and then requested her supervisor and read to both of them the Federal COBRA statute which stated deductibles previously applied must be transferred to new policy. Both told me that it didn’t matter, their company policy said differently and company policy trumped. I was floored. “You are telling me that even though your policy clearly violates federal law, you refuse to question policy?” “Yes.” I got nowhere, the supervisor told me she in fact was head of the department. Ultimately HR at my ex’s company got it sorted it out for me. The COBRA person at my ex’s company said she had already fought the insurer and sent memos numerous times already, for over two years (and prevailed each time, only to start over the next time), and didn’t know what else to do to permanently resolve the issue.

            Providers, such as doctor’s offices, must spend significant staff and other resources for claims filing purposes. My brother-in-law has a practice of six physicians. They employ two full-time women who do nothing but billing.

          2. Walter Wit Man

            Oh, it IS part of their business model. For sure.

            They are largely exempt from bad faith insurance claims b/c of ERISA and it is generally hard to sue them so it’s hard to find a lawyer and not worth it anyway so they nickel and dime people and you’re probably right a certain percentage end up paying bills the insurance company should cover because they gave up and didn’t fight.

            Plus, they literally are exempt from antitrust laws (not that these are enforced anyway), and Obamacare doesn’t do anything significant to regulate what they can charge and allows for crappy coverage.

            And the doctors and insurance companies often bring the patient in their fight over the money . . . I”m sure our doctor billed us prematurely just to trigger us into a fight with our insurance company and I wonder how many times doctors just get fed up with the lies and decit and stalling and try to play hardball by sending the patient a bill.

            Why are we doubling down on this failed system?

            I think a lot of people got fooled thinking Obamacare was going to reform health care when it’s going to make it worse–it’s a concealed attack on single payer health care while empowering the insurance parasites who provide no added value to health care and simply skim off the top.

        3. LeonovaBalletRusse

          George Carlin would add to his list: “And now they want your PENSIONS, your Social Security, you bank accounts, your flesh for fuel”

  12. Tertium Squid

    “Big Brother is indeed watching you! But the monitoring looks to be so broad as to simply create a lot of false positives.”

    False positives are the best kind of positives, for they can be generated in any desired quantity to justify the existence and expansion of agencies.

    When government authorities get to decree who is a badguy, there will always be enough badguys to keep them employed.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      TS, then the Agent for the Absolute Dictatorship in America, the *President*, exerts his power via NDAA to enforce the WILL of the .01% Global Reich.

      Their Agents in Fu-buk, Gkle, etc. enforce the WILL of the .01% Global Reich.

      “Do no evil” is pure Newspeak.

      It appears that death is the only cure for this now-entrenched feudal system.

  13. Tertium Squid

    RE: Romney tanking.

    Good riddance, but scant comfort since one of these other megalomanic narcissists would get the brass ring instead.

    And BTW since nobody asked, Mormons don’t universally support Romney. While a great many do identify with his Mormonness, there’s more than a couple Paulistas among my LDS friends and coworkers.

    1. PQS

      That was such a sad story. And probably from social pressure, too – they were apparently too ashamed to ask for help.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      EZ, the population’s starvation and suicide are cheaper than wars by the .01% for *private profits* and genocide. Fuel for wars has become unreliable, and it’s finite. So they’ve moved to the next phase, quite blatant: mass starvation and suicide of the *losers* in the .01% Global Reich’s Great Game. (Jolly good fun!)

  14. Susan the other

    About cats sensing illness. I do not agree that cats are selfish and isolated. All our cats were very social. They just slept a lot. Velcro shared everything. He used to catch mice and drop them at my feet. Yucky. And all three cats sometimes followed me on my hike. I don’t know how they get that rap.

      1. craazyman

        how do they know it’s disease?

        deepu thaughtsu (that’s Hindi for Deep Thoughts)

        Yeve herd uv that 2 and bleafe eht

        1. YankeeFrank

          They know what health smells like, and they know what bad health smells like. They are mammals just like us, more in common than not. They know so much more about us than we can imagine.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            We probably used to be able to do the same.

            Thanks to ‘progress,’ we don’t even wonder at the stars that much (as in, every night for 4 or 5 hours) anymore.

          2. Sufferin' Succotash

            That’s because cats are really a bunch of aliens disguised as furballs who have figured out how to manipulate human beings into opening endless cans of food for them.
            Fiendishly clever, those kittehs!

          3. LucyLulu

            I don’t know if it is smell but service dogs are being used with much success to provide warning to those with epileptic seizures.

  15. Susan the other

    And the Gorillas. I loved the tenderness of the mother at the end where she rested her hand on his head. Like we pet our dogs.

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Cat Saves Owner Right After Adoption.

    Us ‘control experimenters’ would like to know if the cat fails to save another total stranger suffering from similar peril right next to the new owner.

  17. Hugh

    Homeland Security is just doing something that security services have known for centuries. Even if there are no enemies, if they look hard enough, they will find them, even if they have to create them.

    Look at the dreaded “lone wolves” our security services present us with every few months. Virtually everyone had to be extensively tutored and directed into terrorist related activities by the security services themselves. All the real lone wolves have been caught through the public and ordinary police work.

    But as others have noted, this would not justify Homeland Security’s bloated budget, let alone its expansion. So it must create threats that it can address. Again this is a feature of security services that goes back to their beginnings.

    Another purpose such activities are meant to have is to exercise a chilling effect on ordinary, and legal, debate and dissent.

    Our country already has a vast surveillance apparatus in place that is completely antithetical to our Constitutional history and values. It throws up the insidious question of authoritarians everywhere “Well, if you have nothing to hide, why should you care?” But the real line in a country with any concept of liberty is and always should be “Unless the state has a clear and specific reason, i.e. probable cause of a violation of law, it should not be looking.”

    1. Walter Wit Man

      The government gave a live bomb to the World Trade Center attackers in 93 even though the informant thought this was dangerous.

      The 1995 Oklahoma City attack was also another attack that the government may have been involved in/surveilling before it happened. The bomb was likely a sophisticated military bomb that these 3 lone wolves could not have built themselves.

      9/11 was most likely an inside job/false flag attack as well.

      Most acts of terrorism in the last decade, from the underwear bomber to all the other rinky dink plots, were planned and executed by the government. The government passed controversial laws or started wars after these events.

      A better line of inquiry may be to try to find actual acts of terrorism because I’m starting to wonder if there are ANY legitimate acts of terrorism against the U.S. in the last 30 years or so.

      The main terrorists I see are those within the U.S. government and its media enablers.

  18. kevinearick


    Take a look at Bill Gates’ purported wealth / income, how it must be spent, and compare the result to what Microsoft stole out of the B1 immigration gate. Are American universities the best in the world, or are they too stupid to provide Microsoft with programmers? Is Silicon Valley similarly too stupid to function without free labor, or are corporations too stupid to train talent on the fly? Is small business integral, or is South Africa the best we can expect?

    So, the ignorant boss walks in and abruptly tells the university open source consultants that the consortium wants to replace people with numerical control, to build an information economy, exponentially expanding university in the process as an economic activity replacement for manufacturing. At that point, would you start flipping houses, or get ready for a world of numerically controlled people in automated societies, dependent upon black boxes shorted to the empire’s black hole?

    The leisure seeking retirement base was already relatively large, and now it is accelerating through 10k/day. Given retiree spending habits, what did you expect to happen to unemployment, as measured by BLS, and the tax base, as measured by Fed? Do you really think intelligent kids wouldn’t see the outcome the minute the boss opened his mouth?

    Don’t fight an empire. Employ its gravity against itself toward some useful purpose. The only thing lacking for final adjustment is the will, or lack, of the people affected. Do they want to take individual responsibility for liberty now, or do they want to go down the rat hole with the dc computer? Ask the pilots who have increasingly been hitting the drink.

    Humanity owns nothing (0 + 0 =1 (I cannot always respond)). We lease our time on this earth, extending it with diversity and depleting it with replication. The proprietary model, in which Bank owns everything and regularly resells, maximizing notional value with inflation and deflating before confiscation, is a simple fusion machine, an extension of gravity through the addition of delay robot devices.

    Europe ran out of room, given its relatively closed society and associated technology, and beget America, which has now run out of geography and technology accordingly. You could provide the majority with a complete set of plans for a fusion/fission reactor and they could not build it, because it is captive to the short-cut psychology. It relies upon its senses, which may only confirm the past, with impulse rationalization.

    Liberty requires discipline, not he readily apparent hierarchical variety normally associated with military, but rather its implicit mirror, self-discipline aggregated. The point of explicit maneuvers is to demonstrate discipline in the face of the enemy, which turns out to be an external manifestation of internal limitation, fear. The majority projects itself around itself, in a self-confirming bias, and lives in fear of what it sees, paying its agents to protect it from itself, who dutifully keep it busy with make-work entertainment.

    The problem in the USSR was not lack of work, but rather lack of incentive to do it. Individual sovereignty is not a grant from government. The individual grants government sovereignty over only that which is the common, first at the local level, and then up to the federal level, not the other way around. The population mirrors government when the process is shorted, when ignorance attacks the least among us, left unchecked.

    You can buy food, shelter, & clothing, but not health, hearth, & honor. The latter must be fashioned from the environment, to the end of environment, in a circuit well beyond the empire’s outermost event horizon, in privacy, because the clock despises its need for diversity.

    You don’t have to do anything to bring down an empire, but go unmeasured. Evolution is sneaky fast in that its ingredients develop beyond sight, and coalesce only upon recognition. You can program a baby factory, but you cannot buy real parents. Count all you like.

    Children are the light that penetrates the darkness that is empire, and they know it, because they recognize the change in behavior when they enter a room of adults. The intelligent ones quickly learn to avoid the black holes of anxiety, then to enter and exit gracefully, and finally to make angle adjustments, increasing fluidity to release the pressure. The really intelligent learn to adjust adjacent and disparate relative to each other. Ask Gorbachev about the effect of light.

    Each of us enters the event horizon chosen for us by the empire, in a lie of lies, at various ages. If we accept it as our home, the mind loses its elasticity from independent fulcrum action, and is directed by impulse action up the old evolutionary chain of command. Children lose independence as they mimic, to please or displease the crowd, becoming the increasingly double minded, say-one-thing-do-another, actor as they go, until one day they no longer have the necessary imagination to penetrate the looking glass.

    The socially non-conforming, lawfully non-conforming are stuck in the purgatory of the empire’s teeth, and the empire is a shark of sharks, with many teeth, in many rows, one set constantly replacing another, driven by fear in the conforming. They see the looking glass ports, but cannot enter because they cannot catch the wave, due to the burden of a self-serving sense of fairness, seeking equal outcomes to the conforming. All become part of the shark.

    It is for lack of individual responsibility, the excuse of equal outcomes, that we fail to see the Garden of Eden, not for lack of Law. It is equal opportunity, that which is unique, which ensures that we find the correct mate. You cannot choose your children, but intelligence recognizes intelligence, clearing its path, and intelligent children bring Christmas wherever they go.

    Intelligent discretion is a gift. Allow it to flow through you and the garden will get what it needs, when it needs it, by path unknown. The point of a constitution is to eliminate the need to address fear with law. The process favors discipline and imagination under the empire law of diminishing returns. Christmas is not an act; it’s a place and time for spirit.

    Discipline and imagination are like logic and emotion, order and disorder, father and mother, and separation of charge. You must have both to sail. In balance, they grow; in opposition, they collapse. The empire is just a mirror of mirrors creating the delay shift. It exists at your discretion.

  19. jacksmith

    I think D* can be adapted in many ways. For example as a federated front end to some p2p technology like Triblr. In addition to its other modes of operation like pods. Bottom line is you cant have the potential of D* without decentralization.

    Without decentralization you just end-up with another flavor of g+ FB etc.. Rather than a REVOLUTION! :-)

  20. jacksmith

    REALITY!! And A Fix for Unemployment, Homelessness and Hunger

    In addition to fixing healthcare the right way we need a NewDeal. We need a permanent and updated FDR WPA (Works Progress Administration). A Full employment act requiring the government to provide a job for everyone able to work that wants to work at a living wage or better. At safe, meaningful work where they live. Guaranteed by the US government. With free or very affordable excellent healthcare and free or very affordable education and training for advancement or just personal enrichment.

    ( )

    ( Gov. Peter Shumlin: Real Healthcare reform — )

    ( Health Care Budget Deficit Calculator — )

    ( Briefing: Dean Baker on Boosting the Economy by Saving Healthcare )


    As you all know. Had congress passed a single-payer or government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one, our economy and jobs would have taken off like a rocket. And still will. Single-payer would be best. But a government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! that can lead to a single-payer system is the least you can accept. It’s not about competing with for-profit healthcare and for-profit health insurance. It’s about replacing it with Universal Healthcare Assurance. Everyone knows this now.

    The message from the midterm elections was clear. The American people want real healthcare reform. They want that individual mandate requiring them to buy private health insurance abolished. And they want a government-run robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one. And they want it now.

    They want Drug re-importation, and abolishment, or strong restrictions on patents for biologic and prescription drugs. And government controlled and negotiated drug and medical cost. They want back control of their healthcare system from the Medical Industrial Complex. And they want it NOW!


    For-profit health insurance is extremely unethical, and morally repugnant. It’s as morally repugnant as slavery was. And few if any decent Americans are going to allow them-self to be compelled to support such an unethical and immoral crime against humanity.

    This is a matter of National and Global security. There can be NO MORE EXCUSES.

    Further, we want that corrupt, undemocratic filibuster abolished. Whats the point of an election if one corrupt member of congress can block the will of the people, and any legislation the majority wants. And do it in secret. Give me a break people.

    Also, unemployment healthcare benefits are critically needed. But they should be provided through the Medicare program at cost, less the 65% government premium subsidy provided now to private for profit health insurance.

    Congress should stop wasting hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money on private for profit health insurance subsidies. Subsidies that cost the taxpayer 10x as much or more than Medicare does. Private for profit health insurance plans cost more. But provide dangerous and poorer quality patient care.



    This is what the American people are shouting at you. Both parties have just enough power now to do what the American people want. GET! IT! DONE! NOW!

    If congress does not abolish the individual mandate. And establish a government-run public option CHOICE! before the end of 2011. EVERY! member of congress up for reelection in 2012 will face strong progressive pro public option, and anti-individual mandate replacement candidates.

    Strong progressive pro “PUBLIC OPTION” CHOICE! and anti-individual mandate volunteer candidates should begin now. And start the process of replacing any and all members of congress that obstruct, or fail to add a government-run robust PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE! before the end of 2011.

    We need two or three very strong progressive volunteer candidates for every member of congress that will be up for reelection in 2012. You should be fully prepared to politically EVISCERATE EVERY INCUMBENT that fails or obstructs “THE PUBLIC OPTION”. And you should be willing to step aside and support the strongest pro “PUBLIC OPTION” candidate if the need arises.

    ASSUME CONGRESS WILL FAIL and SELLOUT again. So start preparing now to CUT THEIR POLITICAL THROATS. You can always step aside if they succeed. But only if they succeed. We didn’t have much time to prepare before these past midterm elections. So the American people had to use a political shotgun approach. But by 2012 you will have a scalpel.

    Congress could have passed a robust government-run public option during it’s lame duck session. They knew what the American people wanted. They already had several bills on record. And the house had already passed a public option. Departing members could have left with a truly great accomplishment. And the rest of you could have solidified your job before the 2012 elections.

    President Obama, you promised the American people a strong public option available to everyone. And the American people overwhelmingly supported you for it. Maybe it just wasn’t possible before. But it is now.

    Knock heads. Threaten people. Or do whatever you have to. We will support you. But get us that robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one before the end of 2011. Or We The People Of The United States will make the past midterm election look like a cake walk in 2012. And it will include you.

    We still have a healthcare crisis in America. With hundreds of thousands dieing needlessly every year in America. And a for profit medical industrial complex that threatens the security and health of the entire world. They have already attacked the world with H1N1 killing thousands, and injuring millions. And more attacks are planned for profit, and to feed their greed.

    Spread the word people.

    Progressives, prepare the American peoples scalpels. It’s time to remove some politically diseased tissues.

    God Bless You my fellow human beings. I’m proud to be one of you. You did good.

    See you on the battle field.


    jacksmith – WorkingClass :-)

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      jacksmith, “Eliminate the middlemen* in health care. Public Option for the nation of people. No *Medicare Advantage* at public expense, no Pharma subsidy at public expense.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      Since you aren’t even going to get the public option why not ask for single payer or socialized health care?

      I admire the effort and vigor but I think you are falling into the Democrat’s trap of “making them do it.” They are not acting in good faith. They have no intention of letting you influence policy. They do not fear you and there is no mechanism to enforce a deal where they are required to enact the public option. At best, they will promise to do their best and you will hope for the best. We’ve seen this play a million times and I can pretty much guarantee that you will never be able to convince the Democrats to incorporate a REAL public option.

      It’s time to start treating the Democrats as the enemy they are. There may be some naive dupes that mean well but still vote Democrat . . . but the party as a whole is more trouble than its worth. Time to start opposing them.

      Why try to convince your enemy to listen to you? He’s a wolf and will only feign listening in order to eat you.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        WWM, We the 99% are the replacement for the false *Democrats*

        OCCUPY Charlotte 2012: “Regime Change Begins At Home” (Charles Derber)


        Real Democrats Unite! We have nothing to lose but our shame.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Unfortunately, if Bill Black or Yves Smith decided to run for office as Democrats, then I submit they fail to grasp the seriousness of the situation. We need radical change. The two party system is not going to get it done.

          The progressives have the largest caucus in the Democratic party but who knows that? They don’t even appear to have the power to get a public option passed at a local Girl Scout meeting. What point is there of caucusing with the Democrats? They will just co-opt you or use you to sell their fascist policies.

          Nah. The Democrats are the problem. There’s no reforming them. There is no changing them from within.

          Any thinking moral person should walk away.

    3. Walter Wit Man

      If one must start with an offer of compromise, then why not compromise by expanding single payer rather than coming up with an alternative insurance product?

      For instance, how about expanding Medicare to those over 55, those out of work, and those under 21, or something?

      How about expanding socialized health care like putting a nurse practitioner/doctor in every school (including providing reproductive health care)? How about directly providing military health care rather than going private?

      The “public option” was a terrible gambit the first time and it’s even less likely to do anything useful this time.

      Single payer and socialized health care are the only real solutions–the rest is just making middlemen richer.

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Your plan for Greece?

    The lesson from Byzantine Greeks who thought the crusading Western knights were on their side is, beware of Franks (or their descendants) bearing gifts.

    They can also learn from the Trojans.

    Soon or later, it will lead to your downfall.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      My Frankish DNA back to Clovis, mixed with the Micmac tribe (Algonquin Nation), in Colonial *Acadie*, in today’s *Canada*.

      “Americans* cross many a divide.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Big banks squeezing billions from public budgets.

    It is puzzling that consumer confidence is up 6 straight months.

  23. Union Member

    Big Banks Squeeze Billions in Profits from Public Budgets SEIU. Today’s must read.

    Why hasn’t 60 Minutes done this story? 60 Minutes should covered this during the NFL Playoffs, asking Governors Chris Christie, Rick Snyder, and Scott Walker what they intend to do about it?

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Indeed, UM, rampant corruption and self-dealing offers an embarrassment of riches for MSM, even with modest budgets and green reporters, let alone a fading giant like 60 Minutes, which has now stooped to breathless human interest stories and softball interviews.

      But all we hear on MSM — endlessly — is the contraception v. religious freedom fiasco or the absolute latest on the GOP clown circus primary, while MSNBS openly serves as Obama campaign headquarters. Pay no attention to OWS, the mortgage amnesty scandal, European bankruptcy, oil and commodity speculation, etc., just stay focused on utterly distracting and pointless trivia of which there is a bottomless supply. This really got me from the article:

      “Derivatives…have turned into a windfall for banks and a nightmare for taxpayers. In the wake of the financial collapse, the federal government aggressively drove down interest rates to save the big banks and spur economic recovery. The unintended [SIC!] consequence was the creation of an opportunity for banks – whose variable payments were tied to prevailing interest rates – to reap a tremendous profit from the deals. While banks are still collecting fixed rates of 3 to 6 percent, they are now regularly paying public entities as a little as a tenth of one percent on the outstanding bonds, with rates expected to remain low in the future. Over the life of the deals, banks are now projected to collect billions more than they pay state and local governments – an outcome which amounts to a second bailout for banks, this one paid directly out of state and local budgets.”

      One more time . . . PLEASE: this is a feature, not a bug! Sweet Jesus knows that the bubble-blowing, debt-slaving moneychangers in the temple of the Criminal Reserve Cartel are not guilty of oversights and accidental errors based on good intentions. It is with premeditation and malice aforethought that they are fomenting wars and stealing from everybody through their reserve currency counterfeiting racket — from risk-averse savers, pensioners, cities, counties, veterans, and even sovereign countries.

      And then again, from the article: “Banks … must commit to modifying the contracts on a much wider scale in order to do their part to support economic recovery … [they] cannot wait to act. Banks must commit to reform their derivative businesses now in order to stave off catastrophic cuts to state and local government services…” etc., etc.

      Are you kidding? This is like voluntary rehab for forgers, perjurers, and swindlers in the fraudclosure amnesty settlement. Wall Street moneychangers are calculating, cunning, and relentlessly ruthless. Like sociopathic scorpions they have no honor and will NEVER stop their looting voluntarily. It is the one thing they are pathologically incapable of. I wish people would finally get clear on that.

      OWS gets it. It is why there can be no definitive memo of talking points or negotiating positions. Only a systemic tidal sea-change will do.

  24. Mark P.

    Thanks for the warning about the Holder piece. Not really surprising, but still sickening to read such utterly dishonest, hollow baloney. The guy is below Geithner in the morality stakes, which is saying something.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Mark P. – Don’t you wonder what he’s got on Obama, or what mob boss has put him in that position to cover crimes and *look forward not backward*?

  25. SR6719

    According to RT news……

    “NATO-backed Libyan rebels [have been] rounding up thousands of innocent migrants, mostly black, and taking them to prison camps as part of mass reprisals that include reports of indiscriminate killings, mistreatment and torture, as the “humanitarian” veneer of the west’s military intervention quickly crumbles.”

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Jane, you link leads to a shabby, shallow gossip *tip sheet*. Why would you compare this with anything written by Yves Smith? Are you a troll?

  26. SR6719

    Topic: US-NATO “Humanitarian” Intervention in Libya

    “A report from Amnesty International details widespread torture in the prisons and makeshift detention facilities in Libya, under the auspices of the regime established by the US-NATO war that overthrew and murdered Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. In at least 12 cases, prisoners were tortured to death, the group found.

    The preliminary findings by Amnesty were reported late last month, while the investigation was being conducted. Amnesty delegates interviewed detainees and torture victims throughout January and early February, with the detailed results released February 15.

    The savage practices documented by Amnesty investigators include beatings with whips, cables, metal chains and wooden sticks, electric shocks, extraction of fingernails, and rape. Militia fighters conducted these attacks brazenly, in some cases continuing to abuse prisoners while human rights advocates were present.”

    1. Walter Wit Man

      The power the American media has to focus its spotlight on whatever it wants us to look at is amazing. At least it appears that way from the belly of the beast.

      There is brutal killing going on in Afghanistan and Libya (to name just two) because of American actions, yet our collective attention is being manipulated with fake concern about Syrian life as an excuse to take even more life . . . in Syria and beyond . . . .

Comments are closed.