Links 2/7/12

SeaWorld sued over ‘enslaved’ killer whales BBC. This is totally cool. Cetaceans are much closer to being people than corporations are. And captivity shortens the life of dolphins, and I’d therefore assume whales, considerably.

Was the Little Ice Age Triggered by Massive Volcanic Eruptions? ScienceDaily

Thanks to Plants, We Will Never Find a Planet Like Earth Scientific American (hat tip Lambert)

Bill Gates backs climate scientists lobbying for large-scale geoengineering Guardian (hat tip reader John L)

How dementia drugs could be used by the military Guardian (hat tip reader May S). I recall reading with some horror of the experiments performed in WWII on men held in prison camps. Now we experiment on our own soldiers.

Anti-cancer drug for women weakens bone density Raw Story. Speaking of experimenting….

The netiquette of working life Financial Times

Facebook “Jumps the Shark” Interview with Michael Whalen Chris Whalen

Greece bail-out funds could be split Financial Times. Would put Greece on a very short leash.

Corporate defaults set to jump in Europe Financial Times. Quelle surprise!

IMF takes its gloom to China MacroBusiness. No wonder the Chinese are suddenly interested in funding Eurorescues.

Global Manufacturing Steadies as She Goes, or Does She? Credit Writedowns

The ice is cracking under Putin Gideon Rachman, Financial Times

Truth, lies and Afghanistan Armed Forces Journal (hat tip reader May S). This is a must read.

Top official: drone critics are Al Qaeda enablers Glenn Greenwald. This is the best argument they can muster?

Congressional earmarks sometimes used to fund projects near lawmakers’ properties Washington Post. To quote Marshall Auerback: “Tom Ferguson for slow learners.”

For Sale: AIG’s Subprime Bonds Wall Street Journal. The bonds are being shown only to a handful of big firms. Why aren’t they being auctioned broadly? Fishy fishy fishy.

Shame on you, Mr Obama, for pandering on trade Jagdish Bhagwati, Financial Times. Notice how screechy and unconvincing this is.

‘We the People’ Loses Appeal With People Around the World New York Times

One Town’s War on Gay Teens Rolling Stone. Lordie.

U.S. Sets Money-Market Plan Wall Street Journal (hat tip Joe Costello)

MF Global Trustee Sheds New Light on Chaos at Firm New York Times

How To Score A Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Richard Eskow

The Cancer in Occupy Chris Hedges, TruthDig (hat tip reader Thomas R)

How the Occupy Movement Changed Urban Government Atlantic (hat tip reader May S)

Antidote du jour (hat tip reader Kendall). This makes me want to have a grizzly cub as a pet, which I know is a singularly bad idea:

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  1. Vincent Vecchione

    Fuck Chris Hedges and his hypocritical, out of touch ass. Maybe that link would’ve been useful if he didn’t conflate manarchists, anarchists, and black blocs.

    Also, maybe he shouldn’t have written that bullshit after writing in 2010, “Riot. Shut down the city centers.” and that, “The Greeks Get It”.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Except he doesn’t conflate. Hedges says “black block anarchists,” and not generic “anarchists” throughout. Please reread the post.

      As for Greece, it’s your contention that simple rules apply globally, and national situations are not different?

    2. Dale

      The Black Bloc are just cowards that hide behind real protestors. You don’t see them confronting the cops on their own.

      Don’t even dignify them as a “bloc”, basically just a bunch of teenage vandals, skatepunks and losers. Many of them will grow up and become other things. Many of them are police agent provocateurs and military operatives doing the bidding of TPTB. Convenient those masks and all eh?

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          SHHH, thanks for the link. Don’t you love the Fat Suit from Corporate directing the black-clad *Shillbullies* with masks for their world stage provocation on behalf of the .01%?

          And these Trolls at NC are inflaming: Chris Hedges doesn’t *get it*. Yeahright.

          I’m gonna speak my mind, framing what I wrote yesterday about Chris, with whom I have never communicated; I have only read his books and blogs, and observed him in action at OWS.

      1. Jeffrey


        Did you see the video from Occupy Oakland?

        Loutish bullnecked “demonstrator” egging on rock throwers.

        Next segment, the same guy in police uniform:

        “Hey, I know you!!!” Unformed cop grins ear to ear as Occupy member points at him.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Wrong! That video is from previous protests–the Oscar Grant protests.

          The police were “busted” and there is an audio of him talking about it. The police weren’t committing any acts of vandalism, etc., they were surveilling the protesters.

          Btw, the people bashing Oakland could really stand to look up the city’s history re the police.

          The police are now openly filming and surveilling the protesters. Hedges is enabling these fascist police forces by basically providing the justification for stripping them of their rights.

          The government, both federal and state, is spying on protesters and is categorizing these actions as ‘terrorism’.

          Hedges is sowing division. He’s intelligent enough that I can only conclude he’s doing it intenionally.

          1. SHHH

            He’s not sowing division, he’s calling out opportunist thugs.

            What tape made the MSM when Oakland was raided? The asshole burning the flag, as if that’s what occupy is about.

            Here’s an example of very good press management, and no hoods, or tops…Very easy to make the police look like the thugs they are.


            But, dress up in black, with hoods, and you are just like the riot cops with helmets. Nobody who reads the MSM is going to manage much symapathy for the person who looks like the guy who mugged them.

          2. Walter Wit Man

            In America, those women would have the shit beaten out of them and charged with felonies.

            Hell, she would have been shot or electrocuted if she would have hit an American security guard/cop like that. I haven’t even seen a ‘black bloc’ person strike a cop like that. Have you?

            Maybe I’m in fight mode and missing some snark here because these women seem to be confrontational and opportunistic to me as well (maybe they’re not “thugs” but that has more to do with their appearance than their actions). Not that I care that they are being confrontational or opportunistic. Good for them.

            1. Lambert Strether

              Er, no. The NYPD would have pepper sprayed them, they would have been NV, streamers would have caught it all, it would have gotten propagated, and the OWS message would have been hugely propagated. Which is what actually happened. Of course, it would have been far better, far more engorged with revolutionary energy, to have overturned a few tables and a local coffee shop and smashed some windows. After all, my autonomous fee fees are the most important things in the world…

          3. Binky the Bear

            Sorry if it breaks your virginal pure heart but the cops have been doing this counterintelligence thing since the 1960s and they never stopped. UC police have been caught planting bombs in false flag operations to smear eco activists in California and throughout the west.

          4. Walter Wit Man


            I don’t catch your point.

            I see that the second clip shows a struggle in the ‘no man’s land’ area between the fences. And the cops drag the women out to arrest them. In both clips I see the women climb the fence and then one of them strikes or attempts to strike the police as the police try to stop her.

            As with the black bloc people, I don’t know why I need to approve or disapprove of their methods. They were brave women to confront the police at Davos, and if they were in America they would have probably been shot.

            I am not interested in whatever crimes they supposedly committed and I don’t think they should be charged with crimes. Just like I don’t care about the petty crimes and concern trolling regarding Occupy. I care more about the injustice being done by the government and the elite. These are far greater crimes.


            I agree with you that the government has used agents provocateurs and false flag attacks in the past and may be doing it now. But throughout human history it is quite common for people that are angry and powerless to use violence or militant protest. This seems like such a basic fact that I don’t see why people are resisting it–just look at any of the protests of governments around the world the last year or so–violence is almost inevitable when people are righteously pissed is massive numbers. And people have a lot of reasons to be pissed in America, especially the younger generations, so I can see why people would resort to violence or militancy. In fact, I’ve seen very little evidence of violence so far and I am surprised at how NON VIOLENT OCCUPY HAS BEEN in the face of massive police repression.

            1. Lambert Strether

              What a confession of intellectual and moral bankruptcy: “This seems like such a basic fact that I don’t see why people are resisting it.” Is there some sort of strategy here? Some decision about choice of methods, and why to choose some methods over others? And, as I’m sure you must know, since you participated in the Chenoweth thread, “almost inevitable” is such weasel wording. Besides being untrue.

          5. Walter Wit Man


            I was imprecise. I wrote: “This seems like such a basic fact that I don’t see why people are resisting it.” By “it”, I meant coming to the conclusion that violence is inevitable. I didn’t mean to imply that violence is a good strategy.

            So it should read: “I don’t see why people are resisting the idea that violence is often inevitable when there is massive injustice.”

            Lots of people want to pretend that the anger and militancy of a few of thousands of protesters is really agents provocateurs and it just doesn’t ring true to me (but who knows).

            Again. You really, really want to paint me as advocating violence, when I’m not. I am a very peaceful person and don’t like violence. So you’re the one engaging in intellectual bankruptcy. You keep calling people, like me, “violence advocates” when we are simply trying to put the human reality of violence in context and treat it in proportion to other factors.

            You keep calling confrontation and property destruction violence so it’s a trick to even have this discussion.

            The protester “violence” is so minimal (if nonexistent), I don’t see a reason to ex-communicate certain people from the ‘movement.’

        2. Walter Wit Man

          Basically, that video is from a time (a couple of years ago) when the police didn’t openly surveil political protesters because it was unseemly (and didn’t it used to be against the rules?).

          Now they surveil political protesters out in the open and hyping the ‘threat’ of Occupy.

          1. Walter Wit Man

            Video can be good or bad–depends on who is using it for what motive. Police filming political protest is bad as a general rule while the streamers issue is more complicated.

            If I were engaging in civil disobedience and I knew I was facing a fascist foe that has labeled all civil disobedience as terrorism, and knew this fascist foe will certainly use violence to suppress me, as well as other mindfucking techniques in cooperation with a corrupt media, then yeah, I would be suspicious of snitches with cameras (either working for or co-operating with the police).

            Did you snitch on the cops that fired the bullets at the cameraman last Fall? In that case we had video of a felony battery and maybe attempted murder by police, and what happened? Nothing. Just like most of the felonies and false arrests we have on camera from the last few months.

            But you want to take masks off of people who can suffer in this fascist country merely for marching for their rights? You want to snitch on protesters for committing misdemeanor property crimes while the fascist police get away with 1000 times worse conduct?

            Give me a break. No wonder traditionally powerless communities like the black community are wary–Occupy is evidently filled with neoliberal, authoritarian, snitches. And people purposely dividing the movement, like Hedges.

            There is indeed a cancer within Occupy.

          2. Walter Wit Man

            And really, taking video is a lot like violence itself.

            The state is claiming a monopoly on the use of these tools. It’s saying we can use these tools for our benefit and get to control the use of them, but you can’t.

            The state is saying: “We can film you and prosecute you, but you can’t film the cops and if you do we won’t act on it.”

            1. Lambert Strether

              If agitprop is the goal, then indeed one would smear independent journalists as snitches. Even though the police already have all the surveillance they need with cameras everywhere anyhow, so the only people informed by these videos would be the general public. (Of course, the police already have the informants and agent provocateurs that black block tactics so effectively enable, in addition to the cameras). I do understand that repetition can propagate even the stupidest talking point, but puh-leeze… Can’t we clean up the thread with something a little higher in quality?

      2. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Could Chris Hedges be We the People’s Chamion, and OUR *George Washington, President-Elect, in 2012*?

        Last night I defended Chris Hedges from petty attacks in a Reply posted under a Lambert Strether’s provocative Link from yesterday entitled: “”Obama’s SOTU Authoritarian Followership …” because I have read his books with great interest and compassion, following his career from (1) his days as a student at Harvard Seminary who was “Shocked” off his course by his life in the ghetto, through (2) his years as a War Correspondent on the ground who shot photos instead of weapons while suffering trauma with his fellow human beings, through (3) his constant career as Advocate for Social Justice and Critic of the Establishment, unto (4) his full participation in the Occupy Movement, as knowledgable speaker, teacher, and morale booster for the We the 99%.

        Posted just past midnight, in defense of this Passionate Patriot, was this:

        Hedges is serving in his own way. He gives his religious history in “WAR IS A FORCE THAT GIVES US MEANING” — the son of a minster, he grew up a Presbyterian, and went to the Seminary at Harvard, planning to become a minister [& Pastor] himself and do good works. He became deeply disillusioned with the separation between *Christian* creed and practice, within the frame of futility represented by his *ministerial* presence in the ghetto where he lived while studying at Harvard. He was appalled by Christian hypocrisy. His book, “Losing Moses On the Freeway,” addresses it.

        He became a war correspondent as a photographer, from the belly of the beast. He became a fierce proponent of social justice and radical change, railing against Imperial aggression and hypocrisy, and the morphing of the Christian Right into a de facto Fascist Bloc, which he condemns in his book, “AMERICAN FASCISTS: The Christian Right and the War on America”, which includes Umberto Eco’s “Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Brownshirt.” This book is a searing indictment against such “Christianity.”

        In “THE EMPIRE OF ILLUSION: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle,” Hedges asserts his authority as Just Critic of our shallow, depraved society at large, expressing moral indignation of a high quality second to none. In his “DEATH TO THE LIBERAL CLASS” he reveals his despair, disgust, and contempt at what can only be called the moral turpitude of the cowardly Left, and he seems to give up any hope for correction of our nation’s decline unto ignominious death.

        In his books, Chris Hedges demonstrates his development as a man who first aspired to live as a Just Man for a holy cause on earth, preaching and doing the deeds of which the original *Jesus* would have approved. I refer to *Yeshua*, likely the time-honored *Nazarite* holy man (e.g. Samson) of faith, power, and skill, who said he cam to save the children of Israel, and who declared that he was NOT god, but the *Son of the Father*. Little did Chris Hedges realize, befor ehe went to Harvard in *innocence*, how little prepared “Christians” were to serve humanity in reality.

        After suffering the trauma of Wars and those trapped within them, seeing and hearing it all up close and personal, Hedges came to comprehend the complete transformation of the *Christianity* created by Saul/Paul of Tarsus, which became the “Holy” Roman Empire, the Reformed Church of Luther and Calvin, and the arrival of of the Presbyterians (“Dissenters”) on American soil, unto *Christianity’s* tragic metamorphosis into the American Imperial Mega-Church Evangelical Empire, Chris Hedges became one of the leading MORAL CRITICS of our time, in company with Toni Morrison, who both [have] felt the tragic pain of the American Pilgrim’s Progress into the very gates of hell.

        Chris Hedges remains this *original Christian* [rather, like Yeshua the Nazarite, a *PRE-Christian*], by all indications. He is far from naive, he is perhaps too complex, in his comprehension of the ungodly tragedy/farce that is USA!USA! It was only OCCUPY Wall Street that gave him a glimmer of hope that radical change might be possible, and that we might leave our Imperial role as *Babylon the Great*. Obviously, the suffering [the passion], of Chris Hedges is intense, as he attempts to deal now with the thread of the “Black Blocs” to kill the Occupy Movement in Embryo, a hopeless tragedy if achieved.

        Through the lens of compassion must you see the tortured Chris Hedges, a man who suffers the living death of the Prophets of Israel, as they see the nation fall prey to the worst of men. For full comprehension, please read: “THE PROPHETS” by Abraham Joshua Heschel. Am I mistaken?
        Can there be any doubt that Chris Hedges has qualified himself, by his valiant deeds as well as his passionate words, as the JUST, MORAL, EXEMPLARY LEADER required by We the People, to SERVE US as the President of the United States of America/Commander in Chief of our Armed Forces?

        Shall WE THE PEOPLE (NYT article notwithstanding) now DRAFT the Honorable Man, CHRIS HEDGES, as the People’s Candidate for President of the U.S.A.? Is he not uniquely qualified to lead We the 99% in the American Revolution 2012 against the TYRANNY of DESPOTIC KINGS?

        The best route may be to: OCCUPY Charlotte 2012. Dethrone Obama et al. ELECT:

        CHRIS HEDGES/SUSAN WEBBER 2012: We the People in Action NOW!
        William K. Black: Attorney General of the USA: Dept. of Justice
        Michael Hudson: Secretary of the Treasury

        My Fellow Americans, I beseech you to demand: *IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN?*

        (The text above is FREE to the People, in the spirit of ISAIAH 55.)
        Nova Bernard Thriffiley, Ph.D., CITIZEN — 7 February 2012

        1. Paul Tioxon

          The 2000 Republican National Convention in Philly was larded with undercover police who arrested people miles from the convention or any protesting or acts of vandalism, all for renting out warehouse space for puppets. The police were convinced they puppets were weaponized or something, not sure, they can get crazed. Turning vegan, non-violent wispy, skinny as a rail young men and women into hard core leftest street fighters is a common theme of the right wing media, aka, the liberal media, aka, just about anything that is in print mostly with ads, shareholders, and idiots as employees.

          Remember the real network piece in Spanish, where we could learn something from the interview with Indignado leaders. Remember he talked about not attacking one another. Other than trolls and divisive provocateurs on the payroll of one or another security outfit, we need some compassion towards one another in addition to a critical consciousness.

          If we all live in a systemic state of oppression, that means we can not escape it. We all have to eat, pay bills, support families and we need money to do that. Lay off your friends and allies and punish your enemies. Loyalties need to be built and that is hard to accomplish when some of us never meet face to face. But those of us that do need to build on relationship and decide when a bright line is crossed that breaks that relationship. It’s a tough call, but again, compassion is needed.

    3. Walter Wit Man

      Yes indeed. Fuck Chris Hedges. He certainly ripped the mask off and revealed who he works for.

      Hedges is also a hypocrite because he took part in civil disobedience and confronted the police himself. He gave a pretty speech saying it’s time for everyone to do this (I guess he should have added the exception about the bottom 25% of society that looks too ‘dirty’ and aren’t welcome at his protest). Hedges also called for protesters to physically resist the police! There are also people wearing white masks in the crowd (the cowards!).

      But since Hedges and the others he protested with that day are important white guys in Washington D.C. the police let Hedges make a speech (with amplification) and didn’t bother cracking him on the head like they would have if this were a “punk black bloc kid” untouchable.

      Watch the video. It’s a good piece of agitprop. It’s interesting to compare the Black Bloc agitprop Lambert linked to the other day with this.

      The whole fear vs. hope dichotomy in Hedge’s speech is bullshit too.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        This video is very interesting. The production level is pretty good.

        Check out at 1:50 or so how loosely the zip ties are put on the protester. The protester seems to even slip out of his zip ties!

        2:30 is the procession of white masks. Spooky!

        Compare and contrast to the way the OPD engages in arrests:

        Stand up! Sit down! Go over there! Come here! Obey!

      1. Lambert Strether

        For a pro-violence advocate, the article at the link is pretty good; better than most. Thanks!

        I understand the claim that black bloc is a tactic but not a faction; but given the masking and the anonymity, how does anybody verify the claim?

        Also, the author speaks of the “brilliance” of autonomous tactics in Germany. Brilliant for whom? What were the outcomes?

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Except, you know, he isn’t advocating “violence.” So you’re just making shit up to divide people.

          Where is the call to “violence.” Where is he saying he “advocates” it? In fact, he says self critique is useful but correctly identifies the divisive way Hedges is engaging in this.

          It’s like me saying I will not support the black community in their civil rights struggles until they eradicate drug use and sexual deviancy from their midst.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            I don’t have time to find it again, but I saw an Occupy Oakland posting for a demonstration to “protest police violence” and the flier/webpage made it VERY clear the participants were going to use violence. It was basically, “Don’t show up unless you intend to cause trouble.” So there have indeed been explicit, written calls for violence. I was pretty upset when I read it.

          2. Walter Wit Man

            I’d be interested to see those examples. Thanks.

            And I don’t doubt that there are a few examples, I’ve just yet to see any significant calls to violence.

            Now, people were indeed preparing for militant “actions”. Along the same lines as Hedges himself was preparing for with the White House protest. Hedges was trespassing, people were physically resisting the police, and people were wearing masks. He himself was being confrontational!

            Sure, you can say since that since the police in Oakland are guaranteed to overreact and use violence to suppress civil disobedience then they shouldn’t do it because they are just asking for violence. But that’s not what Hedges says! He says it’s time for confrontation–which is what the civil disobedience in Oakland is.

            And the Oakland protesters were trying to takeover an unused building to provide housing to people. Hedges was just giving a speech in front of the White House so he could be arrested. And again, the main difference between these two groups is Hedges is richer and white and more respected so the police didn’t treat him the way they treated the Oakland protesters. Both groups engaged in civil disobedience, physical disobedience, and hid their faces. Sure, the Oakland one was slightly more militant but that had more to do with the police response.

            And why shouldn’t people bring shields and things to protect themselves? They have a right to defend themselves, no? I guess everyone should just go home because the police are fascists? Funny, cause Hedges seems to be saying not to go home, to stay and resist, but then he wants to root out those who do as a “cancer.”

          3. Walter Wit Man

            And I was saying Lambert’s characterization of the article as advocating violence was incorrect. I didn’t say there wasn’t some example of someone advocating violence somewhere.

          4. Lambert Strether

            Oh, please. The whole piece reeks of “They do it, we’ll do it.” Top to bottom. (The real tell is “exciting and invigorating for me.” All about the fee fees, isn’t it?)

          5. RanDomino

            Ah, so there supposedly has been a call for “real violence” (which I will take as tacit agreement that property damage is not violence), and they are supposedly endorsed by the entire (or even a significant majority) of “the black bloc”. Regardless of the mythological nature of this call, doesn’t that argument get blown to hell by the fact that there has been NO ACTUAL VIOLENCE? Crazy idiot writes something inflammatory on the internet, stop the presses!

          6. Yves Smith Post author

            I don’t follow the blow by blow of OWS, but recall early on when a Whole Foods was attacked? Anti violence OWS people restrained the black bloc types.

            America is super bourgeois. If there is meaningful destruction of property, you’ll see opinion turn against OWS in a heartbeat.

          7. RanDomino

            Yes, ONE Whole Foods was attacked, THREE MONTHS AGO. Also a Wells Fargo. That’s it. That’s IT! And those “anti-violence” people attempted to restrain BB by… attacking them! So violence is OK when it’s in defense of property?

            “America is super bourgeois. If there is meaningful destruction of property, you’ll see opinion turn against OWS in a heartbeat.”

            Some “America” is. But those people are always going to support the kind of predator capitalism that says foreclosures are good, that poverty is the fault of the poor, that myth that wealth is the result of hard work, etc. I’m “American” and I cheered when the Black Bloc broke those windows, even though I agree it was probably strategically unwise. But I think a lot of people love to see anyone ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING, anything!, rather than expecting politicians to suddenly decide to throw us a line, or waiting for the banksters and the “petit-1%” (the sacrosanct “small business owners” who treat their workers just as much like shit as any other business) to show some mercy.

            The people who seem to think breaking a half-dozen windows three months ago is the moral equivalent of murder, if not worse? Sorry, I’m not going to waste time trying to get them on my side. It’s clear Hedges, and people like him, are just looking for any excuse to attack OWS and anarchists in particular for threatening their monopoly on the channels of dissent.

            What did the “black bloc” in Oakland actually do to prompt this backlash? Attempting to turn an empty building into a community center a week and a half ago, without paying for it or getting permission from a government. The tactic of liberating empty buildings is really what’s prompting this, IMO, because it’s not attack on property, but an attack on the IDEA of property. That’s how we turn a movement into a REVOLUTIONARY movement.

  2. Middle Seaman

    Chris Hedges says that Occupy sites “were shut down because the state realized the potential of their broad appeal even to those within the systems of power.” The “broad appeal” is very questionable. Qualifier: I am an avid believer, supporter and frequent visitor to Occupy sites and people. But I have the opportunity to listen and talk to literally hundreds of people since Occupy started. Most people feel discomfort with people in tents, with what is depicted as disorganized and unclean and, mainly, they are very uneasy with extra curricular change.

    Journalist should be careful generalizing their own attitudes.

    1. tom allen

      So you think we should round up these gypsies and leftists in their tents because they’re unclean? I think I’ve heard that somewhere before. It didn’t end well.

      1. Sock Puppet

        Just because one finds that “most people” hold a particular viewpoint doesn’t mean that one agrees with them.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          But he’s not characterizing them based on their political views but instead judging their appearance and lifestyle choices.

          It’s a divide and conquer strategy.

          They are trying to sow division based on cultural markers–like they do with the whole Red state v. Blue state thing. So they are going after the most vulnerable protesters first: the homeless, the addicted, and “kids” that are powerless and angry. These are the first group of untouchables that need to be ex-communicated.

          1. aet

            “He’s not characterizing them. He’s saying most people do.”

            That’s called “catapulting the propaganda”: the “journalist” has no need to express any agreement ( she can even express strong dis-agreement) with the “questionable assertion” as a statement of fact – she needs only to just repeat it, to get the idea or assertion “out there”….conveniently, she doesn’t even have to quote anybody by name as a source of the opinion or assertion. Just state it as being something held by “most people”…or “some people”…that bit doesn’t matter.

            It’s a propaganda technique – you’ve heard of “propaganda’ – haven’t you, “Sock Puppet”?

            Like saying in the media “Iran has nuclear weapons” over and over again for fifteen years….or the media arguing back that “Iran has no nuclear weapons” – just get the idea , the association of “Iran and nukes”, out and into the public’s mind, that there’s an “issue” there, where there’s really none…that’s all that matters for propaganda…not truth, nor justice, nor debate, nor who says what or its accuracy.

            Just catapult the propaganda!

          2. Walter Wit Man

            A close cousin of concern trolling.

            A few months ago the government was making the insane argument that locking arms or breaking windows was violence. At first, there was a lot of resistance to this characterization but now that the propaganda has been drummed into our heads for a few months it’s an easier sell (plus all the “dirty” propaganda).

            When those supposedly in solidarity with Occupy start engaging in the same propaganda it’s game over.

            I mean they are throwing the word violent around like its meaningless. How many thousands were falsely arrested? Beaten? Gassed? Etc. There are thousands of victims of police violence from Occupy.

            How many police have been victims of violence? I have yet to see anything other than a few projectiles thrown in their direction–IN RESPONSE TO VIOLENT ACTIONS COMMITTED BY THE POLICE.

            It’s crazy.

            It’s amazing people have been this docile. People have a legitimate reason to be angry and human history has demonstrated righteously angry individuals often resort to violence.

          3. Yves Smith Post author


            See my comment above. In Oakland at least, there HAVE been calls for REAL violence, in writing. This is not non-violent tactics being rebranded as violent. There is a faction in OWS called the black bloc that advocates violence.

          4. Walter Wit Man

            There may be random calls for violence against the police, but the protester actions have been overwhelmingly non violent. One can never eradicate all calls to violence from society. It’s an impossible goal–like eradicating drug use or evil, etc.

            So all we have to go by are the actions. Again, I see thousands of protester victims of massive police violence and how many police victims? Less than 10? I would be surprised if it were over 5 police officer and I imagine they come from scuffles when they were arresting people (the large number of these, probably a majority, are false arrests).

            Why is this a problem again?

    1. mookie

      Wow, what wonderful invective. Thanks for the linnk, and cheers to the author Connor Kilpatrick, who manages to pack an outrageous number of great links in the essay. Just one paragraph from one link:

      Indeed, it sometimes seems that the distribution of wages is, to a first approximation, the exact inverse of the social utility of work. Thus the workers closest to our most fundamental needs—food and shelter—are non-unionized residential construction workers and migrant fruit pickers, lucky to even earn the minimum wage. At the same time, bankers are given millions for the invention and trade of sophisticated credit derivatives, even though most of their work is equivalent to—and as we’ve now discovered, quite a bit more destructive than—betting on the outcome of the Super Bowl. This perverse reversal of values has a fractal quality, as well, so that even within individual occupations the same inverse relationship between wages and social value seems to hold. Plastic surgeons have easier jobs and vastly greater earnings than pediatricians, and being a celebrity pet groomer is more lucrative than working in an animal shelter. – Hipsters, Food Stamps, and the Politics of Resentment

    2. Sock Puppet

      Awesome. I’m a boomer. I’m dedicating the rest of my life to trying to undo some of the damage we’ve done by selling out.

    3. Dale

      Beware of Pew Polls, or “Pee Yu” polls.

      The Pew Charitable trust is funded by mountaintop removal and deep coal mining money. That makes me suspicious.

      Especially when they seem to own NPR and what stories they seemingly cover.

    4. LeonovaBalletRusse

      VV, thanks for the link, which included wisdom from Leo Panitsch.

      Someone here at NC posted that we should just allow (Ultraconservative) Boomer-complicit Pensions and 401Ks go bust, as the plug is pulled on the Derivates as Insurance Game.

      That’s right, “PULL IT!” Now, where have we heard those words before?

      Connect the dots: — “Do You Believe in Magick? (4of6)” [and 106] — (pq92K2 on on Sep 7, 2011), and compare with Architects and Physicists for 9/11 Truth on YouTube.

    5. curlydan

      That was good…here’s another nugget:
      “Who would deny that Obamaism was the canniest of Boomer plots to dope Millennials with that perfect cocktail of lefty-flirtation, racial inclusiveness, and pathological congeniality? It wouldn’t surprise me if the DNC had brought in old Sesame Street writers to help deconstruct our brains.”

  3. mookie

    We all know how Earth’s landscape came about, right? Oceans and land masses formed, mountains rose, and precipitation washed over its surface; rivers weathered bare rock to create soil and plants took root. Well, new research indicates that the last stage of this scenario is not right. Vascular plants—those with structures such as xylem and phloem that can conduct water—are what created the rivers and muds that built the soils that led to forests and farmland. – Thanks to Plants, We Will Never Find a Planet Like Earth

    Ha! Obviously the editors at “Scientific American” are unfamiliar with our unerring Bronze Age myths as recorded in the infallible Bible! If they had they would have known the truth of Creation. Better luck next time, Naked Capitalism linkers!

    (cough) another interesting story: “The Earth Strain” – Could NASA’s ‘Curiosity’ Probe on Its Way to Mars Contaminate the Planet?

  4. psychohistorian

    Telling the truth would be a good start.

    What a concept. That is the last line of the Truth, Lies and Afghanistan.

    It scares me to think about what sort of sociopaths are in positions of power now in the military given the current and past civilian control we have had…..think Dick Cheney.

    What ever happened to the Dept of Defense?

    1. Sock Puppet

      The last president to come close to telling an unpopular truth was Jimmy Carter. He was replaced by an actor who could lie convincingly. The rest learned from that.

      The truth – on war, the economy, climate change, peak oil, health care, sexual orientation, evolution, American exceptionalism – is irrelevant in public discourse.

      You can find the truth. They don’t bother hiding it any more. You can read pieces of it here most days. They’ve just made believing it optional.

  5. Foppe

    London Banker

    Greece – Cutting out the Middle Man
    It seems that central bankers and politicians are endlessly resourceful when it comes to innovating ways to profit themselves and bankers at everyone else’s expense. Where I had thought Greek default inevitable just two weeks ago, I no longer think so today. It appears that Sarkozy, Merkel and the Troika have decided to prevent a default regardless of what Greek politicians or citizens may choose to do.

    The new plan is to take the EUR 130 billion that would have gone to Greece in the second bailout, and put it in an escrow account. The account may be labelled “Greek Government”, but Greek politicians will not have any authority over the funds. The funds will be disbursed by a non-Greek overseer to pay holders of Greek debt. Official creditors will receive full payment. Private creditors will receive the new discounted rates agreed with the IIF for restructured debt. I am not sure what private creditors who reject the IIF proposal might receive, but it will not much matter as ISDA will find there is no credit event regardless.

    The fear among the creditor states of the eurozone was that irresponsible Greek politicians might use any new money to pay civil servants and pensioners rather than bankers and hedge funds. With funds held in escrow and disbursed by a non-Greek overseer, they needn’t worry about such excesses of sovereign generosity.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Foppe, right: “Get with the program or die.” Please study the SET:

      “Arbenz & the CIA, Guatemala 1950’s” (ColdWarWarriors on Feb 24, 2009);

      “The Tavistock Agenda” (lindor2323 on Feb 2, 2011);

      “Tavistock Institute for Global Manipulation” (4GodNUs3 on Apr 25, 2009);

      “The 12th Crusade-Zionism vs Islam-WW3” (dunky3940 on Oct 24, 2010;

      “Do You Believe in Magick? (4of6) [1-6] (pq9k2 on Sep 7, 2011);

      “The Six Principles of Global Manipulation” (Zakonvremeni on Oct 22, 2010);


      “FRUITS OF MERCHANT CAPITAL: Slavery and Bourgeois Property in the Rise and Expansion of Capitalism” by Elizabeth Fox-Genoves and Eugene D. Genovese;

      “DARKWATER: Voices From Within the Veil” by W.E.B. DuBois;

      “THE ANGLO-AMERIAN ESTABLISHMENT from Rhodes to Cliveden” by Carroll Quigley;

      “CONJURING HITLER” and “The Ideology of Tyranny” by Guido Giacomo Preparata;

      “THE OLD BOYS” by Burton Hersh;

      “AMERICAN DYNASTY” by Kevin Phillips;


      “NOBILITY and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII: A Theme Illuminating American Social History” by Plineo Correa de Oliveira;

      “THE SHOCK DOCTRINE” by Naomi Klein.

      It’s all there: Rinse, Repeat, ad infinitum. JUST SAY NO!

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Please correct ERROR above: “Tom” Perkins should read “John” Perkins. sorry

        Catch John Perkins confessing on YouTube so that “Now you know.”

  6. dearieme

    Afghanistan: there was a decent case for a punitive expedition. There was no intelligent case for an occupation. W and Obama have been bloody fools on this issue.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      They have been fools from the perspective that the President should be a sane and decent individual, but lets be honest, the TGIFriday in Kabul for the troops because soldiers can’t fight without those nacho cheeseplates is a sign of a rousing success for no-bid contracting and corporate profits.

      1. Susan the other

        Tony Blair was a weasel master of innocence. Twelve years ago he stumped and barked for a war in the Middle East by saying we would bring Western values to their backward existence. We would liberate them all the way to the “southern mountains of Afghanistan.” Gee duh. Those mountains hold vast mineral riches. That is what we want. We don’t give a shit about anything else. If they ever want to be “enlightened” they can all go figure it out for themselves. I’d bet we have our interests pretty well secured if we are planning to move the military out.

        1. aet

          In retrospect, the mistake was arming the Mujahedeen against the Soviet client state which had existed up to 1979 or so.

          And what of Syria today….?

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            aet, the “mistake?” This was the beginning of the Bush-Blair (AngloAmerican) PUTSCH for Spoils for the .01% and their Agents, based on the model of “THE OPIUM WARS” that brought abject slavery, drug addiction, ruin to The Rest. This they did with the help of their old buddies, the Bin Ladens. Do research!

        2. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Susan, right, mineral riches for THEM. As George Carlin preached:

          “The don’t give a F%#K about you! They don’t care about you at ALL, at all, at all. …And now they want your PENSIONS, your Social Security!” [on YouTube]

          Didn’t Stanley Kubrick try to warn us repeatedly? Another Patriot Done Gone.

  7. gonzomarx

    re: Truth, lies and Afghanistan Armed Forces Journal

    Channel 4 news in the UK had this report which complements the theme of the piece and adding the drug dealing government.

    Fighting drug addiction in the midst of war
    “Channel 4 News Chief Correspondent Alex Thomson reports from the streets of Kabul on Afghanistan’s spiralling drug addiction – and the difficulty of tackling it in the middle of a war.”

  8. Externality

    “How America made its children crazy”

    Interesting article re: how American (and Chinese) elites shield their children from technology and teach them to concentrate through activities such as music, memorizing the lines to and taking part in plays, and other participatory activities. Some elite schools even require parents to sign contracts promising to keep their children away from, for example, television during the school year.

    American elites also, according to the article, aggressively push computers and passive sitting on working- and middle-class American students. When these students have trouble concentrating, the elite consensus is that they are mentally ill and need to be drugged to help them sit still. When technology and drugs resulted in worse outcomes for working- and middle-class students, American elites pushed for more technology and described students’ new problems using psychiatric terminology.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Externality, Dr. Maria Montessori could tell the *mandarins* exactly why computers cause ADD in kids: Children in acute learning phases need CONCRETE experience through the senses with objects holding the lessons of such as “smell”, “dimension”, shape, numbers, and even the Binomial Theorem. She knew that children exposed too early to ABSTRACT learning are confused about basic fundamentals of our Real World, perhaps forever!

      But Montessori has been dismissed for decades, as *dead*. Vain ignoramuses in *education* (Montessori was not an educator but a scientist, the first female physician of Italy)–OR malicious destroyers–created the MONSTER of hyperstimulating abstract *learning* experiences, via the use of digital electronic tools, BEFORE they were ready to study abstractions. This may have been IN ORDER to ruin American children for life, as they ruined our Real Economy, as the linked piece suggests.

  9. Max424

    re: Global Warming, Bill Gates, (To) Sir (With Love) Richard Branson, and Geoengineering

    Gates and Branson and the geoengineers are giving us the straight skinny. What they are saying is, “We walk and talk with people in the Halls of Global Power, and we know, better than anyone else, that a vast majority of these people don’t give a rat’s ass about Global Warming, Climate Change, or the Imminent Demise of the Planet (or whatever you choose to call it).”

    “And even the honorable few that do give a rat’s ass, the tiny sliver that aren’t being bought-off, know there is nothing they can do, because they are being wholly consumed by the overwhelming forces of the status quo, specifically the global oil, coal, and neo-liberal lobbies.”

    “So, fellow earthlings, we believe it is time to Panic! That’s right, Panic, with a capital P! Renewables, smart policy and/or carbon taxes are dead pipe dreams. The time has come to go all-in under-the-gun with the seven-duece! We must take one, last, miracle shot to save our hot, spinning orb!”

    “What other choice is there?”

    It’s funny, I’m not even a Global Warming guy. I do believe Global Warming is going wipe out our species, but after thousands of hours of reading and research, I have concluded that Global Warming will never get that chance, because Peak Oil is going to wipe us out first.

    Still, I had a smidgeon of hope for my fellow beings (beings like bears & wolves & dolphins & orcas) up until today; up until I saw this video. Here it is, Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation & Planet Mars –one of the ignorant fucking MONSTERS that walks and talks in the Halls of Global Power:

    Note: Anybody know that the odds are? All-in seven-duece under-the-gun vs a full table? I do. Put it this way; you’re smashing up against the zero bound.

    1. René

      The Truth is that the international mafia wants to remain in control of the oil, gas and coal reserves. Apparently, a 200 trillion dollar piggy bank.

      The Truth is that the international mafia hides behind the President, the Queen and the Pope. Talking about unassailable.

      Yes, we are smashing up against the zero bound.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Rene, right, we are against the Wall of Endless War, Total Corruption. The .01% “Superiors” are protected by every Mob everywhere.

        Did the Bunker save Hitler?

    2. Sock Puppet

      I commented below but you said it better.

      Intrigued by the idea that peak oil will kill us before global warming. Care to expand?

      1. Max424

        Conventional resource wars light “the Big Spark,” and the unconventional ICBMs start flying. The resulting nuclear winter kills all living things (except for cockroaches).

        That is THE most likely scenario, in my opinion; especially now when you consider the ongoing, 60 year nuclear stand-off between the U.S.S…er…Russia and the United States has never stood on shakier ground –a result of the Bush administration’s 2002 trashing of the 1972 ABM Missile Treaty (the most important treaty ever signed on this planet*).

        The other scenario: The exponential descent, represented by the backside of the peak oil curve, creates exponential misery for a modern civilization completely reliant on oil, for almost ALL things.

        Billions die, mostly of starvation (oil=food, after all). Yes, life goes bravely on, but certainly not at the level where we have to worry about carbon emissions fouling our atmosphere.

        In either scenario, global warming doesn’t get us.

        *Maybe there was a more important treaty signed on Secretary LaHood’s planet, but not on this one.

        1. Susan the other

          Peak Oil is pure propaganda. Kenney said so but was refuted because it was assumed it took too long for geo-friction to create sufficient oil, etc. That’s probably not even the half of it. So then we want to control the major reserves because? Because we want to control GW? That would be kinda good. Ironically we are then declaring war on fossil fuel capitalism. Because Peak Oil is true in the sense that, if we keep using it, it will kill the planet. Or is this also a lie? Could that many scientists be compromised? I did notice that Jim Hansen is always accompanied by MIBs when he is interviewed. That’s a little unsettling. But he was adamant about GW and CO2. The question is, how critical is GW?

          1. Max424

            “The question is, how critical is GW?”

            Not that critical Susan, because Peak Propaganda is going to get us first.

            btw: We went over this. It’s called the Abiotic Theory of Oil Creation. Oil bubbles up from the center of Mother Earth. Proposed by two breakaway Ukrainian (Soviet!) geologists in the 1950s.

            The theory was entertained and then abandoned by the state run petroleum industry of U.S.S.R.; because it was useless –it didn’t help them find oil, and if the gurgling, bubbling oil was refilling Mother Russia’s dry wells, it was refilling them at such an incredibly slow rate that it would take millions of years for the wells to be sufficiently full enough to be re-tapped.

            We don’t have millions of years, Susan. What we have, for all finite resources, are bell curves. Now, where are we, presently, on the petroleum bell curve?

            At the top, and totally unprepared for our slide down the dark side … a slide which coming soon, to a planet near you.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I don’t think people want to hear this, but we need oil austerity.

            According to the Austrian School of oil-nomics, borrowing oil from the future for present consumption is bad. The only way to get any balance, any sustainable happiness here on Earth, is to put ourselves through oil austerity.

            They don’t believe as a sovereign planet, we can just conjure up oil out of thin air.

          3. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Susan, don’t the Russians know from scientific proof that Peak Oil is rubbish? The only Peak Oil is the oil as defined by the Usual Grifter Suspects.

          4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            One thing we know, with less oil to lubricate the world, there will be more friction.

            Of course, friction and heat can be used power a lot of things…to keep the good times rolling.

      2. aet

        Peak oil nonsense…that stuff still going around?Five years after the price of oil corrected down from 147$/bbl?

        Catapult that propaganda!

        The world is awash in oil. And it’s toxic. Not valuable!

        1. Dan B

          “Five years after the price of oil corrected down from 147$/bbl?” Corrected to what? It was $10/BBl in 1998. Crude production has not increased since 2004; we’re at the peak. And you might want to recognize huge losses in net energy gains from the stuff left that is called oil: tar sands, shale oil, heavy crude.

        2. LeonovaBalletRusse

          aet, no, I’m serious. We know from history that many Russian scientists have made discoveries contrary to Western propaganda for .01% profits, which have been dismissed by the West as *crazy*.

          My understanding is –get ready–that Oil is not a FOSSIL fuel, but something else; and that Russian scientists/geologists have proven this.

          I have no idea whether this is true or not, but shouldn’t someone in the West be investigating this claim. Shouldn’t the whole world be discussing this?

          If we know about the Bush Dynasty and their BCCI connections, and tie this into the *European Union* experiment for profits to some–especially with regard to profits from the *Carbon Credits* closed system RACKET–shouldn’t we be investigating this issue in totality? Strasbourg hegemony looms large.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Is it easier for the tectonic plates to slide past each other with or without oil underground?

          2. Max424

            LBR, read what I wrote above.

            The Abiotic Theory of Oil Creation is irrelevant. If sucked-dry oil wells around the world are refilling, no one but God can tell –and I guarantee you, even the Father of Time Itself would get bored shitless minding the million year process.

            It would be the equivalent of us watching paint dry.

    3. BondsOfSteel

      I don’t think you’re giving enought fear to the Singularity…. it’s set to hit in 2045.

      While by definition, it’s impossible to predict what will happen, like the neanderthals, we will no longer be the smartest intelligence on the planet.

      1. Max424

        re: the Singularity

        If I’m right, we won’t have to worry about it. The extinction of our species will put-to-bed that triangular nonsense.

        Also, I’m not sure we are the most intelligent species. I’m kind of in agreement with Yves on this one; dolphins and whales* are at least as smart, and possibly a lot smarter than us (throw elephants –and crows!– in there too).

        As for human spirituality, which is often viewed as a kind of advanced intelligence, I see no evidence.

        My cats, on the other hand, are tapping in to energy sources we humans know nothing about. Whether it’s God, the 5th dimension, Motown Records, or plain old ghosts, I’m quite sure my little bastards are communicating with someone or something … not-of-this-world.

        *Why haven’t whales and dolphins gone to the barren moon? Cause they’re not stupid. Obviously.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Speaing of cats, this they will find one day in my house:

          ‘Stranded in My House With a Cat’

          Journal entry dated, Day Number 457

          …another day of not understanding a word of what the cat is trying to say…

        2. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Max424, I suspect that *dolphins* (porpoises) parted company with the *human* branch of the Tree when they saw the evidence of incomparable folly.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            And it was only through their cunning, check that, intelligence, they survived the split.

            With us humans, it’s you are with us, or you are against us.

    4. John

      I just watched LaHood on that vidoe, “There’s an unlimited supply of oil in many countries around the world.”

      Then say it again after the student questioned him, “Many countries have an unlimited supply.”

      I would suggest people start calling their Senators and demand an investigation into whether LaHood is working for a Middle Eastern country or is just being paid off by the oil industry.

  10. Crazy Horse

    “Many countries have an unlimited supply of oil” Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation in the liberal, progressive Obama administration.

    Proof that the only thing that there is an unlimited supply of is human ignorance.

    1. Sock Puppet

      If it were ignorance, there might be hope. This is theater. Just like Gates and climate change, they know peak oil is coming. You can almost hear the cognitive dissonance in his voice. See how fast he wrapped it up, and how fast the goons whisked him off the stage?

      “They’re not all our friends”. Expect more wars.

      1. Max424

        “If it were ignorance, there might be hope. This is theater.”

        Agree, Sock Puppet. I did a disservice by calling LaHood ignorant. I gave him an out (to keep up the running poker analogy), and there is no out.

        Ray LaHood is the Secretary of Transportation, for fuck’s sake, of a nation that hit peak production of oil four long decades ago. He knows exactly what’s going on.

        The Secretary is traitor, not just to his nation, or to his species, or even to all living earthly things, but to something greater; call it the life force of our universe.

        I really wish there were benign aliens out there sitting in judgement; because the first batch of deleterious humans they would whisk off this planet would include Ray LaHood.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Max424, so the Egyptians can keep him forever? He thought there was *no risk* to neocon meddling with the *Other* Big Boys.

  11. Sock Puppet

    Volcanoes, geoengineering, Gates. Gates’s co-billionaires in bankrolling this include Richard Branson and Murray Edwards, tar-sands magnate. These folks know climate change is coming, but will be problematic tor their business plans. The deniers and lightbulb libertarians are giving them useful cover to neuter Kyoto and make sure “it’s too late” to do anything except pay them even more money to screw up the planet even more to try to fix it.
    John L aka Sock Puppet

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Sock, come on, Gates is one of the Global Monopolists, money bred in the bone:

      “In our dreams, people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands.” FREDERICK GATES – Chairman of the Rockefeller-established General Education Board (The World’s Work, August 1912) on

      Have we forgotten the impact of ARTEMUS GATES?

      It’s all about the .01% Global DNA.

  12. SR6719

    à propos de rien…. I found the key passage where Baudrillard made his break with Marxism! Yes, but calm down everyone, get a grip. I know, we’ve all been agonizing over this one day and night. Yes we know Baudrillard was among the first on the Left to become deeply dissatisfied with Marx’s writing, yes, we’ve been wondering what he meant when he referred to himself as “to the Left of Marx”, but please tell us when, and more importantly, *why* did he distance himself from Marxism? Step forward Hercule Poirot. Use those “little gray cells”. Solve this mystery!

    Here’s the critical passage:

    “The Marxist critique is only a critique of capital, a critique coming from the heart of the middle and petit bourgeois classes, for which Marxism has served for a century as a latent ideology….Marxism is therefore only a limited petit bourgeois critique, one more step in the banalization of life toward the “good use” of the social! Bataille, to the contrary, sweeps away all this slave dialectic from an aristocratic point of view, that of the master struggling with his death. One can accuse this perspective of being pre- or post-Marxist. At any rate, Marxism is only the disenchanted horizon of capital — all that precedes or follows it is more radical than it is” – Baudrillard (1987)

    Now if only I can figure out what it means….

    So. Something to do with Marx’s concept of “use-value”. Did Marx accept the idea of genuine needs too easily? Are needs constructed, rather than innate? Did Marx even use the term “genuine” in relation to needs or use-values?

    Something to do with Bataille who said, “Gift-giving has the virtue of a surpassing the subject who gives”. With Bataille for whom true luxury consisted of disdain for wealth. With Bataille who said: “In what will survive me / I am in harmony / with my annihilation.”

    You mean like a Zen koan. Or something?

    Could this parable that Buddha told in a sutra hold the key:

    “A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.

    Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other.

    How sweet it tasted!”

      1. SR6719

        Deconstructionism is associated with Jacques Derrida. Baudrillard had no use for it.

        from the Guardian:

        “Of Jacques Derrida Baudrillard had once said, kindly: “I admire Derrida, but it’s not my thing.” He sympathised ironically with Americans who felt invaded by Derridean acolytes spreading the gospel of deconstruction: “That was the gift of the French. They gave Americans a language they did not need. It was like the Statue of Liberty. Nobody needs French theory.”

        1. craazyman

          so true. if you have beer and football you don’t need French anything — except Albert Camus, my hero the shoe salesman and French Fries. Everything else they can keep.

          everybody go short. I’m buying Europe today so this must be a near-term top. LOL. If not the beginning of the end. Just trying to do you all a favor for all the good advice about Europe falling apart any day now. any day. really.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Apparently, sushi started in Vietnam…according to The Story of Sushi.

            The world is full of surprises.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            If an opera, La Muette de Portici, could spark a revolution in Belgium (1830), anyting is possible there.

          3. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Lambert Strether, thanks to the link to *general strike* at BBC. But tell me, do you get the HYPNOTIC *spinning disk* ad for Google *CHROME* when you go the the BBC site (and NYT’s, hmmm)–the very same *CHROME* that Germany endorsed yesterday as THE anointed leader of the pack?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I have always wondered when I read that koan if the two tigers were the eggheads from the left and the eggheads from the right, with the strawberry being the anti-Apple of the Garden of Eden.

      Of course, koans are not about the contents of your response as much as they are about how you express them. And that’s why the Master willl not allow you to take your expresso into his den with you. It will be messy with you shouting your reponse having coffee in your mouth.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      ATTENTION NC Readers: Be NOT deceived. For Baudrillard’s agenda, see:

      “THE IDEOLOGY OF TYRANNY: Bataille, Foucault, and the Postmodern Corruption of Political Dissent” by Guido Giacomo Preparata–a grounded scholar of impeccable integrity (New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).

      See index for your own Baudrillard research. Comprehend the whole.

    1. Jackrabbit

      Mohamed’s argument is undermined by factual flaws.

      First, printing IS a solution of sorts – it is a stealth tax. This “tax” can be an especially appealling solution when you have the world’s reserve currency as it applies to ALL holders of the currency worldwide (thus reducing the domestic tax burden).

      Aside: The question is who is gonna pay for this financial mess, and so far the cost is being pushed down the line so that the ill-got-gains do not have to be disgorged. This goes hand in hand with the “we are all to blame” disembling that amounts to blaming the victim.

      Secondly, currency speculation is just as valid as any other speculation. The main problem with speculation is information assymetry. It seems a reasonable assumption that financial concentration increases risk of crony collusion and “manufactured” assymetries (hey, we do make something!?).

      Aside: This theory leads to speculation as a measure of crony capitalism in an economy. Speculation would be expected to increase beyond historical norms when it has become more profitable due to cronyism.

      Mohmed describes symptoms (financialization) of the underlying cultural problem – short-term thinking and cronyism – that has undermined our values, our competitiveness, and our social compact.

      1. Jackrabbit

        The reason I choose to write about this is that we often see in the Press well-meaning analysis or proposed solutions that fail because of some basic misunderstanding(s) (especially about capitalism) and/or address symptoms instead of causes.

    2. Jackrabbit

      Also, I’m not sure how valuable an Asian perspective is on the problems of the West. They generally have a different social model and are in a different stage of development.

      For much the same reason (I guess), Western criticism of China and other Asian countries – urging freedoms and less reliance on exports – seems to fall on deaf ears.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There is one difference: Western perspectives are less tainted by non-Western thinking than non-Western perspectives are polluted by Western thinking.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Time for an Animal Emancipation Proclamation?

    Of course, we don’t want to ingore the other kingdom – plants. We also need a Plant Emancipation Proclamation.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Tyzao, so: NOT “repository” BUT “suppository” – to be more accurate?

      Thanks for this important link.

  14. MontanaMaven

    The comments on the NY Times article “We the People” are not what I had expected. They are quite sheeple like in their praise of the U.S. constitution. USA! USA! Should we be so uncritical? But then I haven’t read the Times except for the Travel section in a long time. It’s the travel section that sneaks in the truth that other places than the USA are pretty cool. .

    Our constitution was rammed through by elites. The Articles of Confederation were supposed to be tweaked not totally overhauled. Instead of more local democratic decision making we ended up with a strong authoritarian central government with far more power than the anti-Federalists wanted. Read Sheldon Wolin’s “Democracy Incorporated” and Jerry Fresia’s “Toward an American Revolution” among others to see how this constitution is written to convey a sense of freedom only if we are willing to obey our betters. Speaking out against our betters is called subversive. Any attempt to really form a “more perfect union” has been brutally put down and continues with shutting down the Occupy camps. Obedience is what we demand of dogs and children. It is cruel power tripping.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      MM, that’s not the way Benjamin Franklin saw it. His comment re “If you can keep it” indicates his recognition that We the People have the power to keep Tyranny at bay, if we have the WILL to do it. He knew how hard this would be.

    1. aet

      “No record”?

      Most of the world then was utterly unknown to Europe, or its Chroniclers andscribe monks…tell me, who would have been around to “record” eruptions in say 12th Century Sumatra, or South America?

      Many eruptions occur, even today, in areas of for instance Siberia – and in other remote locales – which are un-witnessed by any living human being, but which are nevertheless known to us from our satellite observations.

      Records from the volcanically active regions of our globe, dating from the 1300s, are very very rare.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Desk bound geologists probably look for eruptions in papyrus scrolls.

        Others head out into the field and dig.

  15. Jeffrey

    Truth, Lies and Afghanistan…

    What is the difference between Vietnam and

    GW Bush had a plan to get out of Vietnam and Dick Cheney
    had other plans.

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Thanks to Homo Not-So-Sapiens Not-So-Sapiens, we will never find another planet like this.

  17. barrisj

    Re: Greenwald and drone critics…Greenwald, in an earlier piece, linked to a meticulous study published by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism in which well-sourced and careful documentation of US drone attacks in Pakistan revealed that as many if not more indisputably civilian deaths are caused by targeting locals who rush to a bombed-out site to aid survivors, and also target the funerals of those killed by drones. Read it here, and reflect on the morality of that POS Obama prattling on about “warriors” and otherwise praising US military actions in various theatres across the planet.

    Covert Drone War
    Obama terror drones: CIA tactics in Pakistan include targeting rescuers and funerals

    The CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan has killed dozens of civilians who had gone to help rescue victims or were attending funerals, an investigation by the Bureau for the Sunday Times has revealed.

    The findings are published just days after President Obama claimed that the drone campaign in Pakistan was a ‘targeted, focused effort’ that ‘has not caused a huge number of civilian casualties.’

    Speaking publicly for the first time on the controversial CIA drone strikes, Obama claimed last week they are used strictly to target terrorists, rejecting what he called ‘this perception we’re just sending in a whole bunch of strikes willy-nilly’.

    ‘Drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties’, he told a questioner at an on-line forum. ‘This is a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists trying to go in and harm Americans’.

    But research by the Bureau has found that since Obama took office three years ago, between 282 and 535 civilians have been credibly reported as killed including more than 60 children. A three month investigation including eye witness reports has found evidence that at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims. More than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners. The tactics have been condemned by leading legal experts.

    The BIJ site has several links to other stories re: the drone wars, and is a valuable resource for those interested in following this fast-evolving mode of warfare that Obama in particular has become enamoured with.

  18. Susan the other

    The Links were really good today. So back to my question: Is the Earth terminal? and if somebody says yes (even indirectly), like LaHood, how do we verify? Trust has been demolished by the professionally paranoid propaganda. Ah, Karma. The first rule of writing is to trust your reader. I submit that the first rule of governing is to trust your citizens. For my part, I would actually like to see marshall law outlaw all use of cars running on gasoline. Yes, devastating. But if we are killing the planet? Do it. Do it fucking now. (And Clint, if this is halftime, our engines better be ready to run on hydrogen.)

  19. Susan the other

    And one more thing on “We the People.” This crazy good article gave me renewed hope. Did the Supremes reallly say those things? Scalia?? Cool. Clearly we do need laws that pertain. We need laws that are pertinent enough to be enforced. And like the rest of the planet, we need our laws to enforce human rights. And I think we also need laws to enforce the rights of all living creatures on the planet. It’s time.

  20. Hugh

    Re Truth, Lies, and Afghanistan, Davis describes the lack of results but there is a deeper issue than doing a better job. It is whether the job should be done at all.

    We should have been gone from Afghanistan 6 months after we got there following the events of 9/11. From that point in time to the present, we, and I mean here the 99%, have had no valid policy reason to keep an army in Afghanistan. This war is about our elites and their empire. It has close to nothing to do with the real security concerns of our country. Indeed its principal results have been to further destabilize an already shaky and much more important nuclearized Pakistan and to exhaust our arm forces to no definable end.

    We have talked for years why the various “new” clock resetting strategies would not work. These have not changed.

    First among these is that the Afghans live there, we do not. They will outlast us by this simple fact alone.

    Afghanistan is a fractured, deeply divided, tribalistic land where the other, the outsider is the enemy. All we have succeeded in doing is making ourselves that other.

    Tribal leaders inherently will not be loyal to us and will behave in ways we think are treacherous because they aren’t loyal to each other either. Power as practised at the tribal level is personal, fluid, and dynamic. Alliances are based on current needs and circumstances. There is nothing unusual about siding with the government in the morning and the Taliban at evening.

    Tribal hierarchies are hostile to anything ordinary Americans would associate with progress, such as the rule of law and broad education (yes, I realize both are under attack here at home), because these would weaken or destroy their power.

    At the same time, the central government and its security forces are deeply corrupt, can not protect ordinary Afghans, and can not deliver discernible goods that would cause ordinary Afghans to abandon the devil at hand (their tribal leaders) for the devil far off (the central government).

    Add into this our kleptocratic political leadership for whom imperial wars are used as evidence of their power, their toughness, their seriousness, and their will, without any particular reference to policy considerations or facts on the ground. Add in those in the military who see wars as career opportunities, and you can see why we have gotten nowhere in Afghanistan and yet still keep an army there 10 years and counting.

  21. Maximilien

    Re: MF Global

    From NYT link: “From his statement, the trustee seems to indicate that the breach may have been accidental at first…The extent to which the firm dipped into customer funds varied through Oct. 27, before it swelled to more than a billion dollars on Oct. 28…”

    And so it goes with any theft, petty or great. It’s always unintentional, “accidental”, at first:

    I’ll just “borrow” a little from the boss to pay my gambling debts. Then I’ll pay it back. Then—oh-oh!—I CAN’T pay it back. I’m gonna have to borrow more. But now I’m not borrowing, I’m stealing. They’re gonna catch me and put me in jail.

    Too bad my name isn’t Jon Corzine.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Oops, sorry, is that my hand in your pocket?

      I think, all smart people know the advantages of being dumb.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I was going to say, and if you do’t know that, you’re dumb.

        I didn’t write that though. I thought that would be rude.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Acutally, it’s very confusing.

          It could be that we are dumb but smart inside. And so, if we don’t know smart people are dumb, then we are dumb, but that would mean we are smart.

          1. Maximilien

            I know what you’re getting at, MLTPB. Dumb people commit crimes, smart people just make what they pass off as “mistakes”.

            As for my intelligence, I have it on good authority (my mother) that I am smarter than I look. ;)

    2. Walter Wit Man


      And they say these cases are too complicated to prove. It’s simple, really.

      Why not let a jury decide?

    3. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Maximilien, it always has worked that way. Machiavelli recognizes this in his comedy, “La Mandragola” — first the finger, then the arm … done!

  22. Susan the other

    One more thing. A story. Back in the 90s, we went on a vacation to the San Juans. We went first to Orcas Island. It was maybe 15 years ago. We took a tourist boat excursion in hopes of seeing a few Orcas. The boatman shut the engine off when we reached the deeps and after only about 5 minutes an enormous killer whale silently swam under the boat as if to say hello. I kid you not, it was a religious experience and I am not religious. I was so humbled to be acknowledged by this beautiful animal I was left speechless.

    The Pacific Northwest is a heavenly place. It is where the Orcas should live and be free to go wherever they wish. But now we have even screwed that up. It is our unquestionable obligation to monitor those waters for radiation contamination and when the obvious is “discovered” we must force Japan to turn Fukushima into a giant sarcophagus of solid cement. Rock of Ages.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      As I said the other day, I rather star gaze.

      That or being in nature will get most of people religious.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The beauty is we can start anew every day, not burdened by those who have come before us.

          We too can partake in that ‘when the world was young’ feeling.

    2. John L

      Ms other, just relocated to the Puget Sound, Fukushima notwithstanding. It is a magical place. May I suggest a book? “The circumference of home” by Kurt Hoelting. Kurt chose to live without driving or flying for a year, walking hiking and kayaking around the sound.

  23. LeonovaBalletRusse

    ATTENTION NC Readers: just out from NPR (ATC), “There’s a cholera outbreak in Haiti.” Weeks ago, we read that a particularly virulent strain of cholera was imported to Haiti via NATO troops. No need for blankets for *Indians*.

    “CHIEF JOSEPH OF THE NEZ PERCE: a poem by Robert Penn Warren.

    NPR adds, There’s a vaccine for that.

    Still the same old routine in every venue of the circuit.

    1. craazyman

      Ya know Leonova I think I figured out you’re the same personality who used to post here in BIG CAPITAL LETTERS a year or so ago. I can’t remember your screen name.

      But you identified yourself as a semi-retired psychoanalyst living in France, if I recall. I am a professer of Contemporary Analysis living in New York and I have pyschoanalyzed myself many times and keep coming up with different conclusions. I realized it’s not me. No pun intended. It’s time, itself.

      woah! deep thoughts.

      So it sort of rattles my cage to imagine a frail pysche putting themselves IN YOUR CARE! OH MY GOD! Just having fun, no offense, This is why I keep a stash of xanax and red red wine, so I can ride it out without the couch sessions. I just lay down in the woods and ask the trees and the crows. the crows are the worst but I love the trees.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Is the world that samll that you run into the same person again?

        That makes it like it’s a viilage again.

        In Neo-Neanderthalistic lingo, this is like a valley.

      2. ambrit

        Dear craazyman;
        Psychoanalyzed yourself many times? How many lifetimes did that take? I’ve only tried it once, and I’m still stumbling around in the dark, like that fellow at the end of Kurosawa-samas “Ran.” Personally, being much ‘attached’ still to illusion, I prefer “The Hidden Fortress,” or “Throne of Blood.” The best though is still “Dodes’ka-den.”
        By the way, Contemporary Analysis? Aren’t Myths good enough for you? (Snark, snark snark.)
        Love and kisses from the Southland.

  24. exomike

    Gee, they couldn’t be agents provocateur, could they? COINTELPRO was done away with years ago and the Pigs are no longer Pigs because they now wear lipstick.

    I suppose having survived the ’60s anti war movement could have made me a bit cynical. Unfortunately these modern protesters are having to deal with Militarized Robopigs on steroids (often literally).

    1. RanDomino

      Some, probably; certainly the ones that were being violent (by which we mean attacking people, which is violence, as opposed to property destruction, which is not violence).

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