Links 3/19/2012

An Australian Insect Sampler Scientific American.

Bald eagles rebound from near extinction Oregonian.

Shiller Defends Goldman Sachs, Praises Finance Bloomberg. Word of the day: Aptronym.

Whistleblower Gets Sham Justice From Wall Street Court Bloomberg.

Treasury issues subpoenas in investigation into funding for pro-MEK lobby campaign Yahoo Envoy. Ed Rendell, Tom Ridge, Louis Freeh, Gen. Hugh Shelton.

Passports of Chevron execs held in Brazil‘ FT.

Credit default swaps are insurance products. It’s time we regulated them as such Big Picture (furzy mouse).

Want hard-working and happy staff? Ban their smartphones! Daily Mail (MS).

Health chief warns: age of safe medicine is ending Independent (MS).

Fracking: Pennsylvania Gags Physicians Truthout (MS).

As natural gas production grows, questions arise about methane leaks McClatchy.

SkyTruth Alerts delivers real-time updates about environmental incidents in your back yard.

The REAL Cause of the Global Obesity Epidemic Washington’s Blog.

Groups Say They Won’t Stop Feeding Homeless in City Parks NBC Philadelphia.

Versailles, the Would-Be Biggest House in America Business Week. With handy comparison chart.

Occupying Democracy: A Moral Revolution for Social Justice Truthout.

How David Beats Goliath: When underdogs break the rules New Yorker.

Autarchy in the UK: Forced labor; selling off the roads; gutting NHS. All Guardian (JL).

Learning from campaigns, writing on issues Angry Bear. Lakoff’s schtick, but a true schtick.

Obama’s evolution: Behind the failed ‘grand bargain’ on the debt WaPo. Yes, Obama really was willing to raise [the age of] Medicare eligibility [presumably to 67 from 65].

All Odds Aside, G.O.P. Girding for Floor Fight‘ Times.

Romney: Santorum an ‘economic lightweight’ Chicago Tribune.

Santorum On Seamus The Dog: ‘Issues Of Character Are Important In This Election’ HuffPo.

Santorum: Obama administration is soft on pornography WaPo.

Literary porn saved, as Paypal abandons effort to censor smutty books Independent.

China’s path to reform Guardian.

Enter the dragon: China’s PM calls for reform Sidney Morning Herald.

The ghost of Mao haunts China’s succession plans‘ FT.

All change after Bo’s downfall‘ South China Morning Post.

How demolishing freeways is reviving American cities Grist.

Airbus expects years of grappling with A380 cracks Reuters.

The Kennedy assassination: Did Castro know in advance? Miami Herald book review. “In a brutal irony, the CIA was delivering to Cubela a poison-tipped ballpoint pen with which to kill Castro at the very moment that Oswald was shooting Kennedy.”

Partial equilibrium intuitions about choice Interfluidity. Choice does not always improve welfare. Interesting!

Antidote du jour: Scott’s Arnold:

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


    1. Leviathan

      Good word! I like starting off the week with new knowledge.

      I saw Schiller speak in Chicago a few months ago and it was literally painful. The entire room was up in arms (and this was a banker-friendly, professional audience, mind you). Why? He seemed to live in and speak from an alternate universe in which a “few bad people” had done bad things but the system as a whole was successful. My group split on whether he was willfully stupid in an “ivory tower” kind of way or a financial Sargent Schultz deliberately seeing “nothingk” that might discomfit a very sweet personal setup. I was firmly in the latter camp.

    2. Richard Kline

      Maximal truth in minimal characters; y’oughta win a prize. Unless you’re a tweet-twit, in which case your skilled up for it.

      Re: “Obama soft on porn”—wait, isn’t that a good thing from the sex-negative rightard position? What did I miss there??

      1. Paul Walker

        No wonder data gets massaged so heavily, even among chart porn addicts of either the left or right persuasion.

        Perhaps, one day, there might be a leader of any persuasion who is more interested in organic growth rather than the 2D artificial stimulation/insemination/ kind. That discussion would lead one back to the question; Are the iissues of primacy cyclical or structural? Meanwhile, folks will continue to waste O2 on wondering if they should be forced to foot the bill for Cinderella’s glass slipper. sheesh

  1. in the news

    Clerk of Courts Sharon Bock has drawn a Democratic primary challenge from foreclosure-fighting activist Lisa Epstein, who has attracted a national following for exposing suspicious foreclosure paperwork from lending institutions.

    Epstein wants the clerk’s office to help crack down on fraud, starting with an audit of real estate documents filed in Palm Beach County. In a bid to address Epstein’s concerns – and avoid a Democratic primary – county Democratic Chariman Mark Alan Siegel arranged a lunch meeting between Bock and Epstein on Friday in Boca Raton.

    “If there are things that can be solved, we don’t need an election to do it,” Siegel said. He called Epstein “a spirited person. She wants to raise issues. Let’s see what happens. In our view, Sharon’s doing a great job.”

  2. fresno dan

    How demolishing freeways is reviving American cities Grist.

    I still remember losing my home as a child in Fresno CA for a freeway. This in a city where drving from the “suburbs” to downtown took all of 10 minutes, but by God, saving 7 minutes was going to restore downtown. It didn’t of course.
    So much money for so little utility…

    And what are freeways suppose to do? Funneling all the traffic onto the grid just jams it up at that point. And people driving on freeways, at least in my experience, do not throw money out the window – you have to stop in the city, walk around, to do commerce.

    1. scott

      The Grist author should see what TXDOT is doing in Dallas. They are replacing a perfectly functional 8 lane freeway with 12 new lanes (plus toll express) and 2 lane service road in each direction. Some houses that backed the old freeway will now have their back doors feet away from the service road.

      I agree with the author about surface streets being an alternative, but you need some way to let trucks and those passing through a way to do that without getting stuck in a downtown grid.

      If you want to see how a lack of surface street capacity and a misguided attempt to limit growth by not building roads works out, drive through Austin.

      Hi Arnold!

    1. RandallPittman

      Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.

      Or, shopgirl apron to shopgirl apron in four…

      1. JTFaraday

        Yeah, my great-grandmothers cleaned public toilets and schlepped after the Vanderbilts (or so I’ve been told) so I guess that’s about right.

        Oh wait. I’m currently between careers–maybe there’s still hope, LOL.

        1. JTFaraday

          Well, okay. Maybe not literally. But the last place I worked really was a sh*thole and I really did try to clean it, (to no avail).

    2. propertius

      The aristocrats have always mocked the peasantry as being venal, lazy, stupid, “provincial” and “shiftless”. It helps preserve their cherished sense of entitlement.

  3. Andrew DeWit

    The Washington’s blog piece on toxic chemicals and obesity is interesting, especially the disturbing trend of obesity in babies. But we get no indication whether the data are for the US only or more generally. I live in Japan, where there’s probably equivalent exposure to such chemicals due to all the plastic and etc used here. But people are nowhere near as fat as in North America. Certainly there are increasing rates of overweight and obesity among men, but at maybe 20-30% rather than America’s close to 70% level. And women here are actually getting slimmer. Getting chemicals out of food seems advisable on the precautionary principle rather than questionable correlations with obesity.

    1. John L

      Agree. Lack of nutrients in junk food (and therefore in the resulting breast milk) looks more likely and better explains the correlation between obesity and poverty or region.

  4. Jim A

    Re: antidote. It’s always a good idea to get carpeting, furniture and clothes that match the cat.

  5. Swedish Lex

    On “Partial equilibrium intuitions about choice”

    The article felt intuitively right, sorta. Funny then to read the end sentence; “Somebody ring up Sweden!”

    1. craazyman

      It’s too confusing, but if I had to choose Sweden or China I’d pick Sweden.

      So would everybody else.

      1 billion Swedish people would not be a comfortable equilibrium! :)

      I don’t know what this dude is smoking but it ain’t tobacco.

      Like Schiller, it must be another mind-cave delusion. I’ve noticed that happens alot with otherwise intelligent people. They sit around and think too much when they should be out drinking and carrying on and they get themselves all confused.

  6. Skippy

    Sweet Poison
    Front Cover
    David Gillespie
    0 Reviews
    Penguin Group Australia, 01/09/2008 – Health & Fitness – 216 pages
    David Gillespie was 40kg overweight, lethargic, sleep-deprived and the father of four, with twins on the way. He knew he needed to lose weight fast, but he had run out of diets – all had failed. After doing some reading on evolution (why weren’t our forebears fat?), David cut sugar – specifically fructose – from his diet. He immediately started to lose weight, and kept it off. Slim, trim and fired up, David set out to look at the connection between sugar, our soaring obesity rates and some of the more worrying diseases of the twenty-first century, and discovered some startling facts in the process. Sugar was once such a rare resource that nature decided we didn’t need an off-switch – in other words, we can keep eating sugar without feeling full. In the space of 150 years, we have gone from eating no added sugar to more than a kilogram a week. You would need to run 7km every day of your life just to no put on weight as a result of eating that much sugar. Two decades ago 1 in 14 adult Australians were obses; that figure is now 1 in 5. The ‘natural’ sugar in one glass of unsweetened fruit juie per day for a year is enough to add just over 2.5kg your waistline. The more sugar we eat, the more we want. Food manufacturers exploit our sugar addiction by lacing it through ‘non-sweet’ products, such as bread, sauces, soups and cereals. Sweet Poison exposes one of the great health scourges of our time and offers a wealth of practical and accessible information on how to avoid fructose, increase your enjoyment of food and lose weight.

    Skippy… remember the small orange juice glasses of yesterdays, that fruit was harvested around a month and consumed, that salt, coffee and sugar were locked away, oh well.

      1. Skippy

        RE: The REAL Cause of the Global Obesity Epidemic Washington’s Blog, link.

        Skippy… the things done since the advent of the industrial age began are coming home to roost.

    1. Jane

      @Skippy – what does this sentence mean?

      remember the small orange juice glasses of yesterdays, that fruit was harvested around a month and consumed, that salt, coffee and sugar were locked away, oh well.

      This isn’t the first time I’ve wondered what on earth you were saying.

      1. Skippy

        Back in the day juice was only served in small glasses, more was deemed excessive, kinda like more than one teaspoon of sugar in ones coffee. Things have changed, excess is celebrated and with it, its repercussions.

        As far as fruit goes, it was harvested and consumed within a short period, some was preserved, this was rationed out until harvest again. Not until industrialized food production, transportation from across the globe and storage techniques to store up to a year has humanity engaged in such dietary habits.

        For a short primer see:

        Food, Inc


        Skippy…. my personal favorites are the electromagnetic rail guns used to make snack food, by adjusting the magnetic fields you change taste and texture, meat glues, off cuts glued together and sold a prime cuts in hotel chains across the globe, the adding of brine via gang syringes to add weight to meat, added water in caned goods to achieve weight at the loss of product volume.

        Meat glue:

        PS. Go here some day, it will blow you away. That it is held in Paris is… juxtapositions absurdity.

        The international exhibition of food processing and packaging

      2. ohmyheck

        I get what you are saying, Jane, but I find Skippy’s quirky style interesting. His comments are like working a puzzle. On the days that I get it, I feel accomoplished…or something. :-)

        1. citizendave

          Maybe one must be of a certain age to have experienced growing up with small juice glasses. I was born in ’48 and we had small juice glasses. When my wife came home from work today I told her about this conversation. She told me she grew up with small juice glasses as well. Then she searched in the cupboard for a moment and produced one of the small glasses she used growing up.

          For many things, more than enough is way too much. Having a small amount of good stuff can lead to enjoying it more, savoring every bit. When I was young I self-medicated with various intoxicants. As I grew older I found that just a little bit goes a long way. Gluttony, as it turns out, can be highly deleterious to one’s health.

    2. LucyLulu

      So then what people do is replace the sugar by using artificial sweeteners, e.g. drinking diet soda. When they do, dieticians have noted that they end up actually increasing their daily caloric intake. The theory is that artificial sweeteners stimulate gastric secretions responsible for hunger. OTOH, eating a handful of nuts 30 minutes before meals stimulates gastric secretions responsible for satiety, feeling full.

  7. SR6719

    Re: Robert Shiller defends Goldman Sachs, etc

    “Shiller reminds us of how the artist Jeff Koons started out as a commodities broker.”

    Ironic that he should mention Jeff Koons. Like Robert Shiller’s writing, Koons’ “artwork” is inferior, crass and based on cynical self-merchandising.

    Question: In terms of banality and conformity, is Robert Shiller’s financial writing equal to Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog Red Porcelain Sculpture, illustrated below?

    In other words, is Shiller’s work a case of banality and *hyper*conformity, or banality and just plain conformity?

    1. EH

      Koons’ “artwork” is inferior, crass and based on cynical self-merchandising.

      Come on, you can say it: you think it’s degenerate, don’t you.

      1. SR6719

        No, I don’t think Koons’ art is degenerate. For me, art is fundamentally form, not value, however for a long time Koons’ art (though critics call it postart) consisted of exhibiting everyday products such as vacuum cleaners and he talked constantly of his love for cereal boxes. It’s just mindless, not even a regression, it’s nothing, just mush. You see it, then forget it…

        1. craazyman

          Didn’t Warhol do the cereal box thing?

          And didn’t Koons marry some Italian porn star?

          And didn’t DuChamp do the urnial is art thing?

          Not like the old days when they drew animal pictures in caves. hahahahah. Those were pretty good by the way. Makes you wonder why they drew them where nobody would see.

          Mr. Schiller seems lost in his own mind cave. I think he has hypnotized himself and the daylight cannot penetrate. Old men.

          1. SR6719

            You’ve pretty much got it, I think…. Warhol started the cereal box as art thing, Koons (who married an Italian porn star named Cicciolina) did his cereal box thing after that and, like everything he did, in relation to Warhol.

            But Warhol’s portraits of stars and celebrities were still expressing something about death and destiny, while Koons’ effort to rewrite Warhol was utterly mindless.

            And in 1917, Marcel Duchamp selected a urinal in a hardware store, titled it “Fountain”, signed it R. Mutt, and then submitted it to an art show, one of the earliest pieces he referred to as “readymades”.

            Some critics consider Duchamp’s invention of the readymade to be a major turning point in art history…..

      1. SR6719

        Good point.

        It seems like a lot of people are using the liberal arts/contemporary art/ connection as a cover for something else!

  8. Truckloads of pods

    Framing, yeah, I think Dems understand that pretty good. They understand it so well that the real threat to Occupy is not the cops that beat your head in but the entryist Dem hacks infesting the GAs. They’re everywhere, poised to short-circuit the dissent and drive protesters down the party cattle chutes, just like they did in Wisconsin. At every turn they’re right there to shut you up and tell you what you want.

    The party rank and file harangues you why you have to vote Dem because they suck 0.3% less. More insidiously, “inside/outside” infiltrators like Progressive Democrats of America use people like Ray McGovern as decoys, listing his name in the same breath with blood-dripping neocon Dem candidates. Sure, they let McGovern talk – during the Bush administration. Now, when he still won’t shut up, Dem party leader Barack Obama wants McGovern dead.

    Occupy’s touchy-feely facilitation rules treat this concerted parastatal pressure as individual opinion meriting deference and respect. But it’s like invasion of the body snatchers out there.

  9. Jack Hepler

    Re Lakoff
    Pity that Lakoff cannot see the elephant in his own room. The master of messaging continues to dignify these right-wingers with the appellation “consevative”. This lazy habit concedes an honorable defintion to a bevy of “knaves, zealots and clowns”. I submit taht I am a true conservative, and i’m well to the left of most Dems.
    We need a number of terms to call these people, from crypto-fascist to the non-pejorative– right-winger.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      They’re all neo-liberals… But the differences between them are now purely tribal and fought out around cultural markers. So “left” and “right” don’t really work any more, because there are vestiges of actually political and policy differences in those terms… Sinister neo-liberals vs. rectal ne0-liberals?

  10. JamesN

    Re: Santorum: Obama administration “soft on porn.”

    I guess that could only mean that Santorum is now or would get “hard on porn.” Rim shot.

    I can only imagine the Obamanites are licking their chops at the possible opportunity to run a general election campaign against this morally uptight comedian.

    1. RandallPittman

      Yes, but it’s convenent shorthand that Rush’s listeners can grasp and thus think that they know something about between commercials for Preparation H and Golf Club City.

      1. evodevo

        You got it. I argue many times per week with my rightwing relatives and friends about this. I have given them all Yve’s book and Barry Ritholz’s, to no avail. It’s too complicated to understand, whereas scenarios involving libruls and “those people” are much easier to digest. Socialism FTW!

    2. LucyLulu

      The myth was busted long ago. Those on the right don’t want to get it. You can explain it and provide facts until you are blue in the face. They’ll stick with the housing crisis being caused by minority lending policies pushed by Democrats and people buying houses they couldn’t afford.

      1. hermanas

        The beauty of religion; because it’s based on a system of beliefs rather than facts, it cannot be disproved.

  11. RandallPittman

    Re Demolishing Freeways…

    After the blessed earthquake of 1989 damaged the elevated freeways in San Francisco, they had to be demolished.
    There was one loud screaming advocate for their expensive rebuilding, the still in power vote getter for the local powers that be in Chinatown, a woman named Rose Pak, that wanted tourists to be able to drive almost all the way to Chinatown, then end up waiting in long lines of cars that wound around city blocks and parked in underground parking garages and then bought souveneers.

    Since its demolition, the area this giant concrete reptile squatted over for 31 years has been reborn with new streetcar lines, palm trees and restored sightlines.

    Next the idea of them being traps that you are locked into and have no escape from with side streets…think of the housing projects as their equivalents. It’s time to tear all of them down and stop trying to build new ones.

    Many have simply been rebuilt with vast sums of money from HUD. Now there’s a scandal and set of connections and insider trading that is calling out for journalistic inquiry. Most housing project land is owned by HUD and then administred by cities with the usual graft, corruption and insider political trading going on.

    1. Accrued Disinterest

      Thanks be to heaven, with an assist from the Nisqually quake of ’01, Seattle’s vile viaduct is getting the same treatment at present. It will absolutely transform the waterfront, though at a hefty cost.

  12. Up the Ante

    Could any less be expected of Pennsylvania ?

    The state’s track record after Three Mile Island of threatening the public’s health found here,

    and here in “Deadly Deceit”,

    should leave no doubt they are prostituting the health of the state’s population.

    Do note, if you take the time to read Deadly Deceit, of the serial nationwide coverups since atmospheric testing days.
    And that a very significant portion of the nation’s milk is produced in the vicinity of reactors, shipped to urban centers.

    1. Bill C

      Shame on the “Quaker State.”

      A core belief of modern day Quakers is that we should be benevolent stewards of the Earth, as part of our God given heritage.

    2. Up the Ante

      And some Russian counterpart to Gould and Goldman’s studies in Deadly Deceit,

      pg.2, “Many of the known indicators of radiation effects on people are evident in the river valley. For example, the overall cancer mortality rate in the river districts increased from 88.9 per 100,000 people before the factory was built in the 1950s to 134.4 in the years after it was built, according to Mazharov. By contrast, there was no increase in the cancer mortality rate in the control districts. ”

  13. Walter Wit Man

    Re Full Court Press.

    This indeed is a good strategy. I was on a basketball team as a youth and we literally pressed the entire game. We were not the biggest or most talented but this strategy helped us defeat better teams.

    We practiced and practiced the full court press so this was what we were probably best at–covering opponents and denying passes and stealing the ball. It also translated into transition skills, and we were also able to move the ball up court well after getting possession. Good pressing skills means the ability to move well without the ball as a team and to execute as a team quickly. By constantly operating at a hyper pace we got used to the pace while other teams struggled with the change.

    Anyway, it was a good strategy in that situation–with younger kids without stars on the team. With really good players on the other team they will be able to break the press and make you pay for it so it is also a strategy that can backfire.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      But to get in shape for this type of basketball game also requires extraordinary conditioning. that’s part of the strategy–run the other team to exhaustion. I ran more for basketball than I did track, with much of that running consisting of “suicides.”

      1. no, not really

        I know what you mean about the full-court press being exhausting. That’s why I signed with the Washington Generals. Haven’t won a game since ’71 but never missed a game due to injury.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Being in good basketball shape does prevent injury. And I bet the Washington Generals are well paid losers. So you got that going for ya.

  14. Eureka Springs

    “Yes, Obama really was willing to raise Medicare eligibility.”

    I don’t believe it was sincere for a nano second. More like he was willing to use/abuse it ever so quietly as a bargaining chip… always the first kind of chip to fall by the wayside.

  15. Walter Wit Man

    Re the Kennedy Assassination book . . . .


    This book is almost surely complete bullshit. Shows the perps really are concerned about getting caught so that they are still putting out disinformation after almost 50 years. Looks like they are back to trying to support the original ridiculous assertion that Lee Harvey was a real communist really defected and was not an American intelligence operative. Others have made the case LHO was actually two persons and I bet this book has new evidence about the Mexico City appearance of Oswald, etc., trying to establish the original cover story of Owald being a lone nut communist sympathizer.

    But this is laughable. It has never made sense that Oswald was a communist and it seems more likely that Oswald was a U.S. intelligence asset/agent.

    And actually, the new book, “Castro’s Secrets:” is probably a response to the book by Judith Vary Baker, above, and to the facts as described in Dr. Mary’s Monkey: (linked by LenovaBalletRuse here not too long ago). These books describe the efforts to come up with a bio weapon to kill Castro and involving Oswald.

    But apart from these amazing allegation involving bio weapons and the polio vaccine, we have long known of suspicious facts about Oswald that indicate he was U.S. intelligence. Which is why it’s interesting to me the perps are going back to this theory. They’ve been transitioning into backup ‘conspiracy’ theories the last few years to distract from the real truth.**

    Some of the disinformation (imho) we’ve seen over the last few years:

    1. LBJ’s girlfriend alleges a meeting between a bunch of big wigs (like LBJ, Hoover, Nixon, Howard Hunt, etc.) where they planned on killing JFK.

    2. Howard Hunt’s “confession” that LBJ and Cord Meyer (see below) and other CIA guys killed JFK.

    3. Revelations that Jackie thought LBJ killed Kennedy.

    4. Mary Meyer’s* allegations (as revealed to Tim Leary and an CIA guy that later allegedly went rogue in Mexico) that JFK was killed by spooks because he was too liberal, etc.

    So these recent allegations all supported the back-up cover story, that JFK was killed by rogue members of the CIA, with LBJ probably serving a main role.

    I wonder if the book talks about the central role that George H.W. Bush served in the CIA in Latin America at that time. For instance, Bush debriefed the FBI about the anti-Castro people and their possible involvement in the assassination right after the alleged assassination. Hoover specifically mentions Bush’s name in a memo. My feeling is that Hoover intentionally dropped Bush’s name, and referred to the meeting, to cover his ass for some reason.

    *the evidence we now know suggests the most likely theory is that JFK and Oswald were not killed in November 1963, and instead their deaths were faked and were staged events.

    **she was the alleged ‘turned on’/CIA girlfriend and family friend of JFK. She was married to the CIA architect of Project Mockingbird (but divorced from him at the time of her alleged affair with JFK)!

    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      Re: … “why it’s interesting to me the perps are going back to this theory. They’ve been transitioning into backup ‘conspiracy’ theories the last few years to distract from the real truth.

      Some of the disinformation (imho) we’ve seen over the last few years:…”

      Yes, it is interesting. And I agree that it doesn’t pass the smell test. But why the ongoing effort at obfuscation and diversion after all these years?… Who and What is still in play nearly five decades later is key IMHO.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Well, you’re lucky. :) I think I may have recently figured it out!

        [btw, I was imprecise above . . . I meant they are returning to the lone-gunman-sympathetic-to-Castro theory, but at the same time also releasing these alternative theories of LBJ and renegade CIA guys like Hunt.]

        But imho, the reason they are still engaging in disinformation is they are hiding the true extent to which our government is really run by a secret government. They are also hiding their main tactics of control, which include mass mind control and control of the media, academia, and politics.

        Lastly, they are hiding the fact that they faked the murder of JFK and Oswald. Both JFK and Oswald are complicit in their own murders. I believe they have used this MO on a number of different occasions so the perps are invested in not having this deception uncovered. Once your mind opens to the fact that shocking events like this can be staged, it is a lot easier to see the deception. The deception works so well, in part, because it is so shocking. The mind shuts down and tricks us. We thought we saw the president’s brains get blown out in front of us, so we don’t look too closely and are very susceptible to manipulation.

      2. Walter Wit Man

        Once one uncovers the Kennedy assassination hoax*, a lot of other government deceptions become obvious. For instance, it then becomes a lot more obvious that most incidents of terrorism committed against the West the last 30 or so years were probably staged events run by U.S. interests, like 9/11 and Al Qaeda were.

        *I’m probably about 70% certain the JFK “assassination” is a hoax. I have only recently discovered the evidence within the last 6 months or so, here: Under this theory all the people in the car were in on the hoax, including Jackie.

    2. SR6719

      Interesting comment, thanks.

      I’m still looking into the information you provided me on the “JFK assassination is a hoax” theory , but have been sidetracked with other projects.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        I probably spent over 10 hours, at least, going through that thread at let’s roll and the related links. You know how it goes . . . it’s easy to spend a lot of time pursuing sub stories (like the Mary Meyer [staged] murder and her affair with Kennedy and her involvement with Tim Leary and LSD and the fact her husband started project Mockingbird and controlled the media, etc.).

        I’ve long been interested in JFK and long suspected some sort of secret government/CIA coup, but this new angle of looking at things really blew my mind (no pun intended).

        And then a lot of the other curious facts fit together and make more sense under this theory . . . I really do have this as 70% probable whereas even 1 year ago I would have said a renegade CIA/Texas Oilmen/LBJ/MIC coup was the most likely. I mean, it still is probably that kind of coup, but the coup probably happened with the help of JFK and he happened well before the staged assassination.

        Plus, this was not a new trick. Fake identities and engaging in espionage and trickery was a common tactic, especially during WWII. And the children of the elite loved playing these games so it’s not as unusual as it sounds for JFK to fake his own death.

        1. SR6719

          Well, if it wasn’t a hoax, the lack of blood on Jackie’s dress, as well as that cop throwing something into the limo are very hard to explain, among other things.

          On another subject, I noticed Arthur Silber hasn’t updated his blog since March 2, when he was asking for help, said he had a worsening heart condition, and was almost broke.

          I thought his articles were good, and hope nothing happened to him.

          1. Walter Wit Man

            Yeah. I have always enjoyed Silber’s writing and hope the best for him.

            But on another related point, I have become disillusioned with many of the bloggers one usually sees on a blog roll along with Arthur Silber.

            The U.S. government and its media shills are waging war on Syria (with Iran next) and most of these commentators are silent on the subject. They are especially silent on the subject of media fakery and outright fabrication of claims by the West. Silber has always been willing to state the hard truths and I hope he can continue exposing the perps.

            But the silence from others makes me wonder if faking the JFK assassination isn’t the tip of the iceberg–if most of our opposition is really captured.

        2. beowulf

          There was a movie about this.
          “Bubba Ho-tep is a 2002 American comedy horror drama film starring Bruce Campbell as Elvis Presley — now a resident in a nursing home. The film also stars Ossie Davis as Jack, a black man who claims to be John F. Kennedy, explaining that he was patched up after the assassination, dyed black, and abandoned.”

          Come on, why would the most powerful man in the world choose to not only hand over the reins of power to his vice president (when simply resigning on medical grounds would have done the trick) but also abandon his wife and children?
          I’m sorry, dyeing him black and leaving him in a nursing home with Elvis is more believable.

          1. beowulf

            Just followed the letsroll forum linked above. Just, wow.
            All I’ll say I never would’ve imagined that the “JFK faked his death” guy and the “Jackie Did It” guy would each think the other a crazy person.

          2. Walter Wit Man

            oh, don’t worry, they make up. They agree to disagree and they actually agree on quite a bit.

            It is pretty funny but that’s actually part of the reason I love that thread. All skeptics are welcome, and the religious guys that think Jackie killed JFK fade away after a few pages. Even though I think they are wrong, they actually do add something. They help the reader slow down and analyze the actions within the car and to get a grasp on other pertinent details and they pose legitimate questions about the other theory.

            It’s fun and actually illuminating to wrestle with other people over the details and to encourage skepticism rather than promoting group think. By the end of the thread, I am much more knowledgeable, and I’ve grappled with the different theories, and as is the nature of an online forum with lots of different people, there are some hidden gems.

            Like the realization that the cop is spraying blood in the backseat.

          3. Walter Wit Man

            Yeah, I have a hard time with the motive. There is much more evidence for a means and opportunity.

            But here are possible motives:

            1. Personal. Jack was a philanderer and Jackie and her family were upset and Jackie may have had affairs as well. Both were reported to want a divorce while Joe Kennedy evidently ruled it out. They thought it was political suicide. This was a way to divorce without having to go through the messy part.

            2. Blackmail. JFK was blackmailed, maybe because of his affair with Mary Meyer, who told Tim Leary that she and other women were ‘turning on’ powerful men in D.C. with LSD and said that she was friends with a very powerful man (JFK) and his wife and wanted to turn them on. This was to presumably influence them in a left-wing way because Mary had supposedly gone hippy, or something. Anyway, JFK went on a drug binge with Mary, or someone else, and blabbed his mouth about state secrets, etc., and was compromised and instead of going through a messy public affair, he agreed to fake his death.

            The blackmail could have also been based on any of JFK’s alleged affairs, some with underage women (right?), or his drug use, or who knows what else.

            3. Part of a larger plan to control major political offices, and the government at large. The ‘secret government’ conspiracy.

            Jackie, having connections to psy ops, along with people in the CIA like Cord Meyer running pys ops like Operation Mockingbird, wanted to create the myth of the presidency. Camelot. They wanted a charismatic actor to play the role of leader and they wanted Americans to this leader so Americans could be more easily manipulated.

            And having a president shot dead in the open was one great way to establish that myth. It could very well have also been part of a deal with LBJ all along. That JFK was the good cop and Johnson the bad cop. Johnson and Connolly could have promised to deliver Texas, or give it to Nixon, unless JFK played along.

            [Anyway, this is the theory I think most probable right now. It could be a combination.]

            4. A Kennedy bargain. Similar to number 3 above, but the Kennedy clan bargained that they would get to rule the liberal side of the fascist state for the decades to come, and their kin would continue to control the Democrats, in exchange for Jack taking a dive. Maybe Johnson had a deal in this regard for a while as well.

            I don’t know. The motive is not as strong as the motive appears to be with the CIA/MIC wanting to kill him b/c he didn’t want to go after Castro hard enough and b/c of Vietnam and federal reserve and blacks . . . . but then I also wonder if Kennedy wasn’t sincere and these are feints to the left to establish the myth of one true liberal president who . . . was taken out by a bullet.

            And thus we can never have liberal things.

  16. Emily Dickinson

    Re the Washington Post story on Obama’s “Grand Bargain” that entailed cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid: Yikes — the “Gang of Six” were the liberals in the negotiations!!! Lord help us.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Yep. That’s the trap.

      For the next 7 months Democrats are going to pretend that they are the ones that support Medicare and Social Security.

      And they do, in a fake rhetorical way that is designed to protect their egos rather than support these programs. So the Democrats’ “support” of Social Security and Medicare is actually a stab in the back rather than a helping hand.

      It’s like when the president supported the “public option.” Everyone knew he really didn’t. It was fake rhetorical support. But we were supposed to be impressed that Obama took the effort to do this. Like his rhetorical support was a victory itself.

      But it’s actually a defeat if the rhetorical support simply suckers people to support him so that he can better sell their support away at a critical juncture.

      And it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Obama and the Democrats are going to sell out on Social Security and Medicare. They are already admitting it if you listen closely! Their rhetorical support is actually a bad thing and not a good thing!

      We would be better off leaving these programs as is. The Democrats will voluntarily cut these programs in a way the Republicans could never do on their own. And this cover starts with Obama and the Democrats offering fake rhetorical support.

      It’s the kiss of death.

  17. Hugh

    Shiller like Lowenstein shows that the primary allegiance of our elites is to themselves. Oh, and that they have no integrity, intellectual or otherwise. Shiller illustrates something that I wrote about with regard to the Lowenstein piece. It is the bad faith exemplified by our elites who rob us blind or facilitate that robbery all the while claiming that they are doing this for our own good and that we really should thank them for their thefts.

    It is at once disturbing, comic, and predictable that Shiller would end up at an elite institution like Yale. Elite should not be taken here to mean “superior quality” but rather “ruling class” although our elites live off of conflating the second sense with the first. If Yale had any interest in education rather than maintaining and promoting class differences, they wouldn’t allow Shiller within a hundred miles of the place.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Four links on China. The FT link didn’t work for me.

    Of the other three, only the Sidney piece made reference to Bo as being part of the ‘red revival’ movement, which we don’t hear much about here, implying some future threat.

    What the articles don’t make mention of is the threat that is already reality – the ‘Nationalist revival’ movement/clique – with widespread corruption, inequality and selling of their fellow Chinese as slave labor to imperialist, sorry, foreign corporations.

    History repeats itself, as they say. In old China, the Feng Shui cycle used to run 30 years. With the the help of modern technology, maybe, you can lengthen it. The last time they enacted this epic drama, some 80 to 90 years ago, in the 1920’s and 1930’s, it was the Nationalists trying to purge the reds from their party. It seems to be of a similar plot this time – the Nationalist clique trying to rid the party (under a different name) of the Red clique.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Excellent media critique:

      What the articles don’t make mention of is the threat that is already reality – the ‘Nationalist revival’ movement/clique – with widespread corruption, inequality and selling of their fellow Chinese as slave labor to imperialist, sorry, foreign corporations.

      That seems to be the flip side of the Apple/Foxconn stories as well as NPR’s Daisey debacle, no?

      I’ll doublecheck that link (or rather triple check it). UPDATE Works for me…

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Copy the headline and then search on Google. That seems to work (for now) for most sites (though not always the LA Times). If there’s site that works that way, I try to flag it by putting the link text in single quotes: ‘copy me, but not the quotes!’.

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Meditating on propaganda.

    I have been working on a new form of martial art called ‘Propaganda Aikido’ or ‘Propaganda Hapkido.’

    This is how it works.

    When you sense a beam of oncoming propaganda chi directed towards you, you sidestep it, grab it, twist it, fold it and then redirect that propaganda chi back towards its original source.

    You avoid head-on propaganda battles.

    That’s Propaganda Aikido.

    Hopefully, one day, it makes it as an Olympic sport.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Another meditation:

    How should the police handle OWS or other non-violent protests?

    I believe the proper police response to any non-violent protest should be itself non-violent.

    The best way is probably through singing contests.

    The peaceful protesters would sing their protest songs.

    The non-violent police, in response, would sing their repression songs.

    The winners, well, they get possession of the square/park.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      And if OWS responds additionally with protest poetry, I suggest New York’s finest counter that with law-and-order poetry of their own.

      We need more singer/poet policemen/women.

    2. Steve-o

      or, they could tickle each other – that’s more physical and might help work off some of that sexual frustration

  21. Hugh

    Re Versailles, we can have a few billionaires building palaces to themselves for themselves or we can have good jobs, education, healthcare, homes, and retirements for everyone. We cannot have both. It is for you to decide.

    1. Hugh

      As for Siegel, he was very much a creature of the bubble, a kind of walking icon to its grandiosity and waste. Like any good kleptocrat, for him there is always the next hustle. But can we really afford people like Siegel always on the make pissing away our nation’s wealth and resources?

  22. Walter Wit Man

    Nancy Pelosi’s daughter is talking about the “entitlement culture” with Bill Maher.

    Interesting. And yuck.

    Let’s not forget that Nancy Pelosi green-lighted Obama’s attack on “entitlements”, when she promised Obama an up or down vote in the House if his catfood commission recommended cuts.

    Pelosi is working for the enemy, just like Obama is. Yet Alexander and Bill pretend that Obama and Nancy represent the left. They plan on selling liberals out on “entitlements.”

    I also love how Maher and Alexander Pelosi act like they are not racist because Maher gave money to Obama and because Alexander is the daughter of Nancy. Uh, bullshit. Like Maher and Alexander know what it’s like to work menial jobs and to be black and poor or to have felony convictions.

    How telling they laugh at the black guy that wants to have a “career.” He wants just a portion of the dignity and reward that Bill and Alexander get for their work and they mock him for it.

  23. kevinearick

    Implicit Currency, Time Value of Money, & Power

    You don’t have to read Tocqueville. You need look no further than the headlines, written by computers, which are replacing pundits like Mondale’s advisor, to see that Democracy pays you to fail. Self is the only property to which you are entitled. A young person will never get a return from the criminal social security Ponzi scheme. G was relatively trivial up to WWI. Now, it consumes the economy, and its willing participants are actually surprised it’s collapsing into tyranny.

    Serving others directly is selfish, because it maximizes absolute return on natural wealth, completing the circuit, if you define your own values consistently, which is why the empire must enforce unearned income event horizons, driven by fad consumption (Apple). Otherwise it could not exist. Popular economic theory is not just stupid; it’s criminal. G (above the law/accounting line) can rob Peter to pay Paul to the end of its own growth, but if you did that you would end up in jail. Employing agency as the middleman does not make majority rule less criminal.

    If you understand the nature of a constitution, the empire is doing you a favor every single time it grows beyond the limits prescribed, devaluing its currency with arbitrary, capricious, and malicious rule-making, because it is granting you power to determine which characteristics will be carried forward and which will be cast back into the churn pool for retrieval. To the extent you redirect its monetary expansion tendencies to assist others, you develop the world around you with the assist of its gravity.

    Right before your eyes and in full view of the empire, I have been training intelligent kids to build bombs, write constitutions, and transform wealth, and there wasn’t a damn thing G could do about it, and I don’t have to worry about how those kids will employ that information because, unlike the empire kids, they are not stupid. They are explorers, not cave dwellers that sh** in their own bed and look to G for solutions.

    You may not have recognized the tools, so here they are:

    Your dc computer may be implicitly compiled into a fusion machine, with relatively unlimited ac gate access through the computing cloud the empire is rolling out. The kids can blow up your house, the nuclear plant down the street, or the entire electrical grid, anything with smart technology, at will. The empire cannot force them to do anything.

    (Have you driven a BMW or ridden a German elevator lately? They are pieces of sh** with bells and whistles to keep the politicians amused/busy, and so is Skynet.)

    The US Constitution, which has been containing the empire’s gravity, all government constitutions, is imploding under the weight of all those inelastic laws that short back to DC. You may have noticed that populations all over the globe are in the process of freeing themselves from the squid, and they are not writing constitutions to its liking, forcing it to become increasingly tyrannical as it employs more and more resources to maintain control over less and less.

    For all the bitching and moaning about hedge funds, the squid tentacles, which are about to get their clock cleaned again, who’s hide have the kids been skinning? If you didn’t make a killing on oil, currency carry, and sovereign debt, it’s your own damn fault. Every empire in History has employed imbalanced trade to devalue the currency of populations through sovereign debt inflation, usurious slavery, and every single one of them has collapsed at the will of an intelligent minority, which revealed the language key necessary to make the empire’s operations transparent.

    The first rule of investing is don’t place all the eggs in one basket, and all the eggs are in Apple. Ironic eh? Sir Isaac must be laughing his *ss off. The hedge funds cannot live without global Apple subsidies and the market cannot live with them.

    I have already relayed the following experience, but it in context it may be more useful now:

    My father began training me to run wire when I was 5, and gave up everything in divorce to place me in front of admirals shortly thereafter, where I learned all about positive feedback and backlash, during and after the Vietnam War. At the time, his family and friends assumed he was stupid for working 100 hrs/wk to do so. The future belongs to those who invest the greatest in its mobility over time, beyond the vision of those around them.

    As a young man on the road, it was not at all unusual for an old man to pull over and flip me a $100, which was more than enough to re-boot in those days, or to drive me 750 miles out of his way to move me. That is still true today. An old man gave me leasehold on a beach home in CA for the price he paid after WWII. Another gave me leasehold on 40 acres of tobacco land on the Thames under the same conditions. Housing is never a problem if you live up to your word and leave everything you get better than you found it.

    I can’t remember how many good cars I bought from old men for a couple hundred bucks. I have never, ever had a difficult time getting from point A to point B, and every time I got to point B, there was an old man there waiting to put me to work, because honesty pays the dividend of adaptive skill. In an empire where currency rides on the back of dishonesty and sloth, honesty sticks out like a sore thumb, hit many, many times by a hammer.

    Whether on the farm or in a café, the old man always bought me a full breakfast when all I asked for was coffee and toast, and told me exactly where to go to get the work I needed, flipping me whatever I needed to do it. When the empire makes you its enemy, which it will only do if you are honest, hard-working, and intelligent, you will never go without food, shelter, or clothing, if you seek the unknown.

    Because of the empire’s nature, which it can no more avoid than the sunrise, the old man bought everything today for nearly nothing in tomorrow’s devalued money, and all of his power over the empire rests upon passing it forward. Discretion is the better part of valor. Employ discretion accordingly, and nearly everything wrong in this country will be corrected by inauguration, regardless of who has their hand on that Bible. Absent intelligent discretion, aggregated, nothing you ever do will alter the course of the empire, which may only repeat its History, in an increasing cycle of despair, of its own volition.

    Pay your culture back with your interest in it and you will prosper, regardless of the event horizon. Take the sunshine with you, and pull it out of your back pocket when the old man needs it. In times of war, the mythology of peace unravels like a cheap suit. Collect and hold trump, regardless of what transpires around you, and pass it on with discretion accordingly.

    The families that set themselves up to survive irrational markets determine the course of the future in quantum intervals. Democracy is an incremental weed-out process. The majority doesn’t care and so joins the herd. Most minorities don’t like the system and set themselves up accordingly to fight it. The legacy families do you the favor offsetting up the irrational market. If you view self as your own personal property and teach children to do the same, it doesn’t matter what anyone else does. That is the key to this and every other prison devised by man.

    Develop your own constitution, with your own accounting system to measure your progress. The peer empire f***ing hates that, but can’t do anything about it, lest it hands power over to you. As the Republican governors and presidential candidates now demonstrate, preemption is not a sin of Obama alone. G is G. You’ll have that.

  24. b.

    Regarding yesterday’s
    “White House Stands By Obama Push for Yemeni Journalist to Remain Behind Bars – ABC”

    Despite Tapper’s tepid steno, this is actually a really interesting step. Vietor, the WH spokesman handing ABC its script, had this to say: ” A Yemeni court, not a U.S. court, convicted Sha’i. We refer you to the Yemeni government for details on Sha’i’s arrest, conviction, and the status of his detention.”

    Now it would have been worth having one of Tapper’s adversity kabuki follow-ups on this, because one way to read this is that the US government actually does not make any claims whatsoever with respect to secret evidence regarding “involvement with AQAP”, or any insight into whether or not the reporter actually had the guilt of this conviction. In other words, Obama essentially asked Yemen’s current ruler: “Hey, I don’t know whether you don’t trust your court on judgement or sentencing, or just want to be lenient, but we really trust your court, and we don’t want you to be lenient.”

    Considering that the starting point of both the presidential pardon and Scahill’s reporting was that the court was rigged and the trial internationally recognized as an atrocity, that’s pretty weak. Notice the elastic phrasing of “involvement” – obtaining interviews is certain an involvement of sorts, and per Kaganite reasoning maybe even material support?

    Color me surprised. One would think that the secret evidence dodge was so automatic at this point, it’d amount to a spinal reflex.

    1. c.

      So, I guess then the administration will take it with the same phlegmatic calm when Bales and his SEAL team get convicted in an Afghan court.

    1. propertius

      When the Mac first came out, I remember one of my coworkers mocking its “point and grunt” user interface. I wonder what she thinks now ;-)

  25. propertius

    Ed Rendell, Tom Ridge, Louis Freeh, Gen. Hugh Shelton.

    Let’s not forget Rudy Giuliani, Patrick Kennedy, Robert Torricelli, Andrew Clark, Richard Myers, Porter Goss, and Howard Dean. And many others of course – MEK is an equal opportunity terrorist organization (at least when it comes to greasing the skids with American politicos).

  26. propertius

    “Andrew Clark”

    Make that “Andrew Card, Wesley Clark” – I really wish we could preview and edit.

    1. H. Alexander Ivey

      I hear you. Let others gripe about cutting and pasting in MS Word first, but I remember my thesis paper. It had to be printed on special paper, 25¢ a sheet, many years ago when that was a big budget item. So, I carefully printed my thesis out on various other pages, proofing it every time. Happy at last, I had it printed on the 25¢ pages, and saw, when the printer handed it back to me, right there, on the first page, in the middle of the page, a mis-spelt word. Die! You must edit in the final media.

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