Links 3/3/12

Wine Critics More Sensitive to Flavors Bloomberg

Software gives visual representation of who’s following you online Raw Story (hat tip furzy mouse)

Playboy and Virgin Galactic want to build a gentlemen’s club in space Space. Why go to space just to go to a Playboy club? And I bet sex at zero G isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either.

When You Pay Google For A Service, Don’t Expect Any Actual Help Consumerist (hat tip Lambert). “We haven’t been able to solve the mystery of how to extract customer service from the impenetrable Googleplex.” Ha, I did (I am also probably the only person in the history of Australia to beat Telstra twice). But it took having a buddy who is the brother of a top Google executive, and you can go that route only if you have a Serious Problem.

Mansion servant enslaved by uber-rich New York family for nearly six years Sideshow (hat tip reader Ludd). Something is not quite right with the account. The servant was allegedly enslaved for over five years in the grotesequely over the top mansion (it might look fine from the inside, but the exterior is ghastly). But the owner bought it in 2009. The flip side is the last time I heard a story like this, the prep was Sante Kimes.

More Americans Rejecting Marriage in 50s and Beyond New York Times. This makes it sound horrible to be single. Elderly single people can move into retirement homes or find roommates or communal living situations for companionship, and I suspect we’ll see more experimentation with living arrangements among unattached old people.

Horse emerges as emblem of British scandal Financial Times

5 U.S. soldiers responsible in Afghan Quran burnings McClatchy (hat tip Lambert) and Chain of Avoidable Errors Cited in Koran Burning New York Times

Is Greece a Failed State? Foreign Policy (hat tip reader May S). Isn’t this expected to be moot since it is about to be under new management? And this article seems a bit confused as to cause v. effect (as in weirdly not pointing out the role of the global financial crisis and austerity in the mess).

Chart of the Day: EU youth unemployment MacroBusiness (hat tip reader Michael T)

Accord Reached Settling Lawsuit Over BP Oil Spill New York Times. This is just the private suit.

Corruption and the Citizen, American-Style AntiWar (hat tip reader May S)

Is Drug War Driven Mass Incarceration the New Jim Crow? Forbes (hat tip reader May S). Wow, even Forbes has finally figured this out.

Koch Brothers sue Cato Institute, president Washington Post. Hahaha….

NC Republican’s Foolproof Strategy For Winning The War On Poverty Eli, Firedoglake (hat tip reader Carol B)

That Stuck Feeling Ryan Chittum, Columbia Journalism Review

California Man Sues Geithner to Stop “Bankrupting” the U.S. Global Economic Intersection. The idea is interesting, but the excerpts from the complaint read as if drafted by a crank, so I guarantee this will go nowhere fast (it was destined to go nowhere regardless).

Lessons from Lehman Part 1 Satyajit Das, MacroBusiness

Year-end bank filings offer clues to SEC/DOJ MBS probes Alison Frankel (hat tip reader George R)

Antidote du jour:

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  1. LucyLulu

    NC State Rep. Cleveland needs to get out more. Even using his $1.50/day definition, there are absolutely people in NC living in extreme poverty, having no income at all. I could introduce him to some, sleeping under a bridge, and dependent upon homeless shelters which have no beds for them for two meals/day. Some also have taken up residence in the state or national forests.

  2. LucyLulu

    Re: Is Drug War Driven Mass Incarceration the New Jim Crow?

    Prisons are the next source of slave-wage labor.

    “The system of private prisons is also growing rapidly in the US. The prison industry complex, which uses slave labor and sweatshop practices, is flourishing, and its investors are based on Wall Street. The use of convict labor by private corporations has been legalized in 37 states already, and it is used by major corporations such as IBM, Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, Texas Instrument, Intel, Pierre Cardin, and others. In 2008, the number of inmates in US private prisons was about 100,000, and it is growing rapidly, along with the total number of inmates in the country (mostly African-Americans and Latin Americans), which is 2.2 million people, or 25% of all convicts in the world.”

    1. Yearning to Learn

      Yves, thank you for the link regarding the Jim Crow vs war on drugs.

      although I don’t use illegal drugs myself, I am ardently opposed to the so-called “war on drugs”.

      I’ve spoken before of this story, but will re-tell of when I went from mostly against to 100% against the war on drugs. Some of the details have become slightly fuzzy, but the gist is largely correct.

      I used to see a family. Working poor. Mom, dad, 5 young kids. Trying to keep it together. They used pot, and they were open about it. We talked about “safe” use patterns, keeping out of the kids’ hands, and making sure kids always watched by a sober person, etc. Of note, they brought the issue up to me, not the other way around. oh yeah, African american family.

      one day the 5 kids show up in my office with a caucasian couple. evidently, the family was driving around one day when they had a routine traffic stop.

      A small amount of pot was found in the car. I don’t know how much, but it sounded small.

      The man was on probation for pot, and so he got 5-10 years. The woman also got a year.

      Thus now I as a taxpayer had to pay for
      1) 5-10 years of prison for the father
      2) 1 year of jail/prison for mom
      3) at least 1 year of foster care for 5 kids
      4) the entire family until all the kids are 18 (what are the chances that the mother or father can ever get a job again with a felony drug possession charge? thus, welfare forever!)
      5) lots of mental health for the kids (who will have attachment issues and adjustment disorder and probably a whole lot of other social problems).

      so conservatively, this small amount of pot is going to cost us as taxpayers several hundred thousand dollars, probably more.

      worth it?

      it clearly is to some groups… otherwise we wouldn’t see a huge militarization of our police force, and huge explosion of private prisons. but it’s not worth it to me.

      1. LeeAnne

        depriving children of their parents is more heinous a crime than any I can think of. its epidemic in this country. family court is no court of law at all. its private, secret and abusive.

      2. tom allen

        “worth it?”

        Well, it is to the corporations that get nearly free convict labor. Slavery/involuntary servitude is still legal in the US — so long as the slave is a convict. Read your 13th Amendment.

        “Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

        Hence chain gangs and convict leasing — being done right now in the US, for example, by Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County, Arizona.

        From the Joe Arpaio wiki: “In 1995, Arpaio reinstituted chain gangs. In 1996, he expanded the chain gang concept by instituting female volunteer chain gangs.[35] Female inmates work seven hours a day (7 a.m. to 2 p.m.), six days a week. He has also instituted the world’s first all-juvenile volunteer chain gang; volunteers earn high school credit toward a diploma.[36]”

        1. Maximilien

          The witless media exalt Joe Arpaio as some sort of law n’ order, avenging angel, when he is nothing more than a bully wearing a badge.

          If and when the existing order is overturned (as it must be), Arpaio will be imprisoned by the people for his sadistic behavior and forced to wear pink pajamas 24/7.

      3. Howard

        Is the drug war
        “Worth it?”

        Yes it is. Big Pharma makes hundreds of billions sellings legal substitutes for easily grown ditchweed. Who is the biggest media buyer after car companies, might even be the biggest? Big Pharma and their “Ask Your Doctor about XYZ Drug”

        Does that ad buying behavior control and or at least influence the editorial content and reporting of those
        newspapers and TV stations? To deny that would be hypocrisy.

        That said, having lived in the near ghetto and wealthy suburbs, I am personally convinced that there is a genetic component to addition and the inability to escape it.

        If we are now intellectually obligated to accept being gay as a genetic phenomenon, then why not addictive behaviors with a preponderance among certain races?

        1. taunger

          I’m surprised that someone is willing to admit the rampant alcoholism, pill-popping, and illicit drug use among wealthy whites is likely genetic. Good for you, sir.

        2. Lars

          And to think, those ad dollars did not even flow until Clinton unleashed them full on in 1997.

          That said, it is incorrect to assume that Pharma is competing with common ditchweed. I’m not saying there are not flaws and problems with big pharma/biotech, but let’s not overlook innovations that have dramatically improved the human condition. Safe and cheap antibiotics are one.

        1. Valissa

          That doest amke any sense, and I have never seen any research to indicate that. Pot is generally NOT considered to be physically addictive, only psychologically addictiver.

        2. justanotherobserver


          research has shown quite conclusively that pot is not physically addictive.

          thank you for your FUD.

      4. LeonovaBalletRusse

        The original model likely is Angola Penitentiary in Louisiana, formerly Angola Plantation System, become Angola Prison Plantation System.

        Can you imagine how lucrative a “market” for Big Pharma are these slave labor camps in need of “controlling the hostile/violent/depressive/lazy” behavior of the inmates? And the guards? And the management? It’s a RACKET.

        Bring RICO!

      5. travizm

        Drugs are dangerous enough without making them legally dangerous.

        Where I grew up if people couldnt get their hands on alcohol or pot they would sniff paint or gasoline…………

        There should be options available for drug seeking behaviour that are SAFE i.e. low toxicity.

        Pot is chronically a problematic drug in many people but it has a uniquely low toxicity compared to its psychoactivity.

        Decriminalising would be a mechanism to get beyond “drugs are bad mmm’k” rhetoric that is hopelessly insubstantial.

    2. Francois T

      The amount of “investment money” ready to exploit prison slave labor may well explain why a conservative pundit like Reihan Salam wrote this:

      The insane refusal of 43 Senate Republicans to back the National Criminal Justice Commission Act. Even Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, easily one of my favorite legislators, covered himself in non-glory on this one by suggesting that the commission might be unconstitutional, despite the fact that all it established was a bipartisan panel empowered to make nonbinding recommendations.

      There were, however, four Senate Republicans who backed the proposal: Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Scott Brown of Massachusetts.

      Why do we need a commission? Senator Webb, the sponsor of the proposal, offered a fact sheet recounting the scale of the problem:

      The United States has by far the world’s highest incarceration rate. With five per cent of the world’s population, our country now houses twenty-five percent of the world’sreported prisoners. More than 2.3 million Americans are now in prison, and another 5million remain on probation or parole.

      Our prison population has skyrocketed over the past two decades as we have incarceratedmore people for non-violent crimes and acts driven by mental illness or drug dependence.

      The costs to our federal, state, and local governments of keeping repeat offenders in thecriminal justice system continue to grow during a time of increasingly tight budgets.

      Existing practices too often incarcerate people who do not belong in prison, takingresources away from locking up high-risk, violent offenders who are a threat to our communities.

      2.3 million + 5 million = 7.3 million. Roughly 24 percent of the 310 million U.S. residents are under the age of 18, leaving us with roughly 235.6 million adults. So that means that 3.1 percent of adults are behind bars, on probation, or on parole right now. There are, of course, millions of ex-offenders.

      This population is disproportionately male and disproportionately black, which means that the impact of mass incarceration is particularly significant for African American children. Basically, doing a bid limits your ability to acquire the kind of skills you need to climb the jobs ladder, in part because employers are (understandably) reluctant to hire ex-offenders.

      If we’re even incarcerating five percent of these individuals needlessly, we’re causing a massive amount of damage. Why? Apart from the collateral damage on families and children, we might actually make the crime problem worse. The more we incarcerate people, the less severe the stigma associated with being incarcerated. And reducing the stigma actually reduces the effectiveness of incarceration as a deterrent.

      Having grown up in central Brooklyn during the crack epidemic, I have some familiarity with fear of crime. Reducing crime should be an urgent priority, in my view. Even the so-called “great American crime decline” has left us with rates of violent crime radically higher than what we saw in the early 20th century, as William Stuntz observed in his last book:

      New York is America’s safest large city, the city that saw crime fall the most and the fastest during the 1990s and the early part of this decade. Yet New York’s murder rate is 80 percent higher now than it was at the beginning of the twentieth century — notwithstanding an imprisonment rate four times higher now than then. That crime gap is misleadingly small; thanks to advances in emergency medicine, a large fraction of those early twentieth-century homicide victims would survive their wounds today. Taking account of medical advances, New York is probably not twice as violent as a century ago, but several times more violent. At best, the crime drop must be counted a pyrrhic victory.

      If locking people up in increasingly large numbers were really the most cost-effective way to keep our cities safe, I’d be all for it. Overwhelming evidence suggests that this is not in fact the case. The people who profit most from today’s approach to mass incarceration are not potential crime victims. Rather, they are the workers — most of them unionized public sector workers — who staff our prisons.

      So yes: why would we want to study more cost-effective alternatives to reducing crime when we can pour billions of dollars in taxpayer money into the hands of an industry that channels that money back into lobbying and political advertising on behalf of longer prison sentences, all to keep the gravy train going?

      1. just me

        More Jim Webb, from his book A Time To Fight:

        Even as I write these words, it is virtually certain that somewhere on the streets of Washington, D.C. an eighteen-year-old white kid from the Maryland or northern Virginia suburbs is now buying a stash of drugs from an eighteen-year-old black kid. The white kid is going to take that stash back to the suburbs and make some quick money by selling it to other kids (of all different ethnic backgrounds) from his high school or college or inside his social circle. His chances of getting caught once he clears the black kid’s neighborhood are pretty slim. The black kid, lured to the street corner by a similar motive of making some quick cash, is probably going to keep selling drugs until he either gets shot or is caught and arrested. Since his neighborhood is more than likely a high-traffic area for drugs, it is natural that local police and other drug enforcement officials will periodically target it. Thus, his chances of getting caught are pretty high. And once he’s caught he will go to jail, to be replaced by another eighteen-year-old black kid. And then the cycle will repeat itself.

        The probability is also high that the white kid will soon stop his risky little side business. It is even higher that the other suburban kids who are buying drugs from the white kid will remain legally unaffected by their behavior and will go on to college. After college, many will end up as high-degreed professionals, some of them as lawyers. As they grow older, they will look back on their drug use as recreational and joke about it, laughing it off as a mere phases, just one more little rebellion on the way to a responsible adulthood.

        On the other hand, as soon as he is arrested the black kid will enter a hell from which he may never recover. This hell is so familiar to many black communities that it has evolved into an ugly but predictable way of life. It is a hell that will affect his family, his community, his future employability, his rights of citizenship, and even the way he interrelates with individual members of the rest of our society. The American criminal justice system not only stigmatizes those who become enmeshed in it; it also ensures that most of them will never be free from that stigma from the moment they first walk into the inside of a prison cell.

        In addition, prison life will change the black kid, harden him, mess up his mind, and redefine his self-image. And after he is released from prison, the black kid will be dragging an invisible ball and chain behind him for the rest of his life. The normal flow of his educational and social life has been interrupted. Prison has become his entryway into adulthood. Few employers of consequence will want to hire a convicted felon. Very few reentry programs are available to help him move into a responsible future. The odds are two-thirds that he will be rearrested within three years, and they are better than fifty-fifty that he will be back in jail during that same period.

        By the time the white kid reaches fifty years of age, he may well be a judge. By the time the black kid reaches fifty, he will likely be permanently unemployable, will be ineligible for many government assistance programs, and will not even be able to vote.

        If the laws against drug use were uniformly enforced, just for starters half of Hollywood would be in jail instead of half of Harlem. And for all the money and effort we have spent on the war against drugs, we have not been able to crack the problem at is sources–where it is grown and manufactured–or, most tellingly, at its destination–America’s seemingly insatiable demand for the product.

        Above passage referenced in Obama Must End the War on Drugs — or Mexico and Afghanistan Will Collapse, by Johann Hari, posted 02/10/09 on Huffington Post:

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          just me, that’s the picture of rich, privileged Tulane University students and poor black ghetto hustlers of Gert Town in New Orleans in years past, probably still the same today.

          But some privileged kids don’t escape the trap. “TRAFFIC” directed by Steve Soderbergh is the story of those who don’t, and the parents who had dreams of grandeur for them.

    3. LeonovaBalletRusse

      LucyLulu – “Arbeit Macht Frei” – What difference is there between this “Prison Industry” and the Concentration “Work” Camp Industry of the Third Reich (Holy Roman Reich III)?

      Are IBM systems keeping track of the inmates the way they did for Reich III?

      The “Bank-Industry-Labor-Products-Investor” Daisy Chain is the same now as it was in Reich III, is it not? So is the culpability not the same?

      ANYONE who is profiting from this RACKET (bring RICO) is guilty of Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes. Where are our “Nuremberg Trials”?

      “ARCHITECTS OF ANNIHILATION: Auschwitz and the Logic of Destruction” by Goetz Aly and Susanne Heim – Translated from the German by Allan Blunden (London, Phoenix, 2003; 2002, 1991);

      “MASTERS OF DEATH: The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust” by Richard Rhodes (New York, Vintage Books, 2003; Alfred A. Knopf, 2002);

      “META-POLITICS: The Roots of the Nazi Mind” by Peter Viereck – “being a revised and enlarged editin of METAPOLITICS: FROM THE ROMANTICS TO HITLER, with a new prefatory essay on the Bonn Republic, based on the author’s current travels in Germany, up-to-date supplements on Alfred Rosenberg and on bibliography, and a new Appendix of unpublished Thomas Mann material” (New York, Capricorn Books, 1961; Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.,1941);

      “HITLER’S BENEFICIARIES: Plunder, Racial War, and the Nazi Welfare State: by Goetz Aly – Translated by Jefferson Chase (New York, Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company, 2006; Frankfurt am Main, S. Fischer Verlage GmbH, 2005);

      “HITLER’S WILLING EXECUTIONERS: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust” by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1996);

      “THE WAGES OF DESTRUCTION: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy” by Adam Tooze (New York, VIKING, 2006);

      “MASQUERADE: Dancing Around Death in Nazi-Occupied Hungary” by Tivadar Soros – Edited and translated from the Esperanto by Humphrey Tonkin – forewords by Paul and George Soros (New York, Arcade Publishing, 2002; 1965);

      “LORDS OF FINANCE: The Bankers Who Broke the World” by Liaquat Ahamed (New York, The Penguin Press, 2009);

      THE ANGLO-AMERICAN ESTABLISHMENT: from Rhodes to Cliveden” by Carroll Quigley (Books in Focus, GSG & Associates Publishers, 1981; 1949?);

      “A CENTURY OF WAR: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order” – New Edition – by F. William Engdahl (Wiesbaden, edition.engdahl, 2011; 1992);

      “TRADING WITH THE ENEMY: The Nazi-American Money Plot 1933-1949” by Charles Higham (New York, Barnes & Noble by arrangement with Lowenstein Associates, 1995; Charles Higham 1983);

      “CONJURING HITLER: How Britain and America made the Third Reich” by Guido
      Giacomo Preparata (London and Ann Arbor, Pluto Press, 2005);

      “THE OLD BOYS: The American Elite and the Origins of the CIA” by Burton Hersh – Expanded, unexpurgated, and with an updated preface (St. Petersburg FL, Tree Farm Books, 2002; 1992);

      “WILD BILL DONOVAN: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage” by Douglas Waller (New York, Free Press, 2011);

      “AMERICAN DYNASTY: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush” by Kevin Phillips (New York, VIKING, 2004);

      “FUNNY MONEY” by Mark Singer (Boston and New York, A Mariner Book/Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004; 1985);

      “IN GOD’S NAME: An Investigation Into the Murder of Pope John Paul I” by David Yallop (Toronto, New York; Bantam Books, 1985; 1984);

      “Old NAZIS, the NEW RIGHT, and the REPUBLICAN PARTY: Domestic fascist networks and their effect on U.S. cold war politics” by Russ Bellant (Boston MA, South End Press, Political Research Associates, 1991; 1989, 1988);

      “THE ARCHITECT: Karl Rove and the Master Plan for Absolute Power” by James Moore and Wayne Slater (New York, Crown Publishers, 2006);

      “THE FAMILY: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power” by Jeff Sharlet (New York, HarperCollinsPublishers, 2008);

      “THE SECRET WAR AGAINST THE JEWS: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People” by John Loftus and Mark Aarons (New York, St. Martin’s Press, 2000, 1994);

      “THE IDEOLOGY OF TYRANNY: Bataille, Foucault, and the Postmodern Corruption of Political Dissent” by Guido Giacomo Preparata (New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007);

      “VICE: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency” by Lou Dubose and Jake Bernstein (New York, Random House, 2006);

      TAKEOVER: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy” by Charlie Savage (New York, Boston, London; Little, Brown and Company, 2007);

      “WAR IS A FORCE THAT GIVES US MEANING” by Chris Hedges (New York, Public Affairs, 2002);

      “AMERICAN FASCISTS: The Christian Right and the War on America” by Chris Hedges (New York, New York, Free Press, 2006);

      “CHAIN OF COMMAND: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib” by Seymour M. Hersh (New York, HarperCollinsPublishers, 2008);

      “THE BUSH AGENDA: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time” by Antonia Juhasz (New York, Regan Books/HarperCollins, 2006);

      THE WRECKING CREW: How Conservatives Rule” by Thomas Frank (New York, Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company, 2008);

      “THE GREATEST STORY EVER SOLD: The Decline and Fall of Truth: From 9/11 to Katrina” by Frank Rich (New York, The Penguin Press, 2006);

      “GANGS OF AMERICA: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy” by Ted Nace (San Francisco, BK/Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2003);

      “SHADOW ELITE: How the World’s New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market” by Janine R. Wedel” (New York, Basic Books, 2009);

      “THE RISE OF THE FOURTH REICH: The Secret Societies That Threaten to Take Over America” by Jim Marrs (New York, William Morrow/HarperCollinsPublishers, 2008);

      “REPUBLICAN GOMORRAH: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party” by Max Blumenthal (New York, Nation Books, 2009);

      “THE SHOCK DOCTRINE: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism” by Naomi Klein (New York, Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company, 2007);

      “THE BUBBLE OF AMERICAN SUPREMACY: Correcting the Misuse of American Power” by George Soros (London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004);

      “THE AGE OF FALLIBILITY: Consequences of the War on Terror” by George Soros (New York, Public Affairs, 2006);

      “Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer–And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class” b Jacob S. Hacker & Paul Pierson (New York, SIMON & SCHUSTER, 2010);

      “THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE CIA” by Joseph J. Trento – With a new introduction by the author (New York, MJF Books, 2001);

      “SECRETS & LIES: A History of CIA Torture and Bio-Weapon Experiments” by Gordon Thomas (Old Saybrook CT, Konecky & Konecky, 2007);

      “GHOST WARS: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001” by Steve Coll (New York, The Penguin Press, 2004);

      “McMAFIA: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld” by Misha Glenny – With a New Foreword (New York, Vintage Books/Random House, 2009; 2008);

      “TOP SECRET AMERICA: The Rise of the New American Security State” by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin (New York, Boston; Little, Brown and Company, 2011);

      “THE OCCULT ROOTS OF NAZISM: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology” by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke – With a foreword by Rohan Butler (Washington Square, New York; New York University Press by arrangement with I.B. Tauris & Co., Ltd, London, 1995; 1992);

      “BABYLON’S BANKSTERS: The Alchemy of Deep Physics, High Finance, and Ancient Religion” by Joseph P. Farrell (Port Townsend, WA; Feral House, 2010);

      “EYES WIDE SHUT” – a film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the book: “TRAUMNOVELLE” by Arthur Schnitzler; 1999; DVD with Supplements 2007, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. (8 83929 01166 7);

      “THE IRON HEEL” by Jack London – Introduction by H. Bruce Franklin, Rutgers University (Chicago, Lawrence Hill Books an imprint of Chicago Review Press, 1980; first published 1907);

      “FRUITS OF MERCHANT CAPITAL: Slavery and Bourgeois Property in the Rise and Expansion of Capitalism” by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene D. Genovese (Oxford, New York; OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 1983);

      “THE MIND OF THE MASTER CLASS: History and Faith in the Southern Slaveholder’s Worldview” by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene D. Genovese (Cambridge, New York; Cambridge University Press, 2005);

      “THE FALL” [“La Chute”] by Albert Camus – Translated from the French by Justin O’Brien (New York, Vintage Books/Random House, 1984; 1956);

      “THE REBEL” by Albert Camus – Translated from the French (“L’Homme Revolte”) by Anthony Bower – With an Introduction by Sir Herbert Read (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1954);

      “REGIME CHANGE BEGINS AT HOME: Freeing America From Corporate Rule” by Charles Derber (San Francisco, BK/Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2004);

      “THE HONOR CODE: How Moral Revolutions Happen” by Kwame Anthony Appiah (New York, W.W. Norton & Company, 2010).

      OCCUPY Charlotte 2012: “Regime Change Begins At Home”


      American Rebels Unite! We have nothing left to lose.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        QUESTION for NC readers:

        Was “EYES WIDE SHUT” an autobiography of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Kubrick?

        1. skippy

          There was a mockumentary a few years back with the Kubrick’s and the hole cabal rummy, mechanical heart, hagis, kissof death, the hole shee bang. Saw it on SBS down under.

          Dark Side of the Moon.

          The following 3 clips are about 25 minutes long, cut from the hour and a half documentary. These clips are meant to be a brief introduction. To watch the full documentary, search for “dark side of the moon.”

          Dark Side of the Moon is a French mockumentary by director William Karel which originally aired on Arte in 2002 with the title Opération Lune. The basic premise for the film is the theory that the television footage from the Apollo 11 Moon landing was faked and actually recorded in a studio by the CIA with help from director Stanley Kubrick. It features some surprising guest appearances, most notably by Donald Rumsfeld, Dr. Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig, Buzz Aldrin and Stanley Kubrick’s widow, Christiane Kubrick.

          Skippy… Hahahahaha!

  3. Richard Kline

    Regarding ‘Horse emerges as an emblem of British scandal,’ only if it was suspended over her in a sling and Rupert was filming. Otherwise it’s petite road apples compared to the really big time shyte o’ the matter such as hacking a serving Minister’s phone and manipulating police intervention in a child abduction or such.

    James Murdoch is going to spend many years trying to avoid a prison sentence and likely not succeed. The only surprising development so far is how long it took his Daddy to accept the untenability of Jimmy staying on in any executive capacity. That’s what a forty year old teflon sheild does for ones analytic faculty. Murdoch has been above it all with inciminating pics and tapes on anyone and everyone for so long he still doesn’t get it this thing has burned right through the coating and is starting to parboil the families toes. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving parcel o’ rogues. I love her hair, though, even it’t dyed: Rebekah managed to do one thing right in her life that wasn’t on her back.

  4. chris m

    the Frankel article doesn’t mention ths statute of limitations concerning the offenses only now being inquired into. where was our government in 2007 and 2007. why weren’t these subpoenas issued then?

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      chris, doesn’t the Statute of Limitations begin at the point of discovery of crime?

    1. aet

      The “limitation period clock” only starts to run once the charging authorities could brought a charge forward, but don’t…if those authorities have only now recieved evidence that a person has committed a crime sometime in the past – then the “limitations clock” starts ticking now…and NOT at the time of the commission of the crime.

      Justice never takes it as a worthy aim to let people go free for their harmful crimes. Nor does it seek to punish people for harmless behaviour.

      To the extent that either occurs, then exactly to that extent is Justice herself being suborned.

      The cops may play “Gotcha!” – but Justice shouldn’t. Even with the cops themselves!

      1. LucyLulu

        I don’t believe that is correct. For securities fraud, IIRC, there is a two year statute of limitations from the time the fraud was discovered with a total limitation not to exceed five years (though certain events can stop the clock).

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          LucyLulu, what if the crime is extended by the crime’s concealment by persons in authority. it would seem that the cover-up would push the statute of limitations out to the moment of discovery of the cover-up leading to the crime, since the person doing the cover up is an accessory after the fact.

          1. Ms G

            LBR — Generally, if a “discovery rule” applies to toll/extend a statutory limitations period, concealment counts as evidence in establishing a discovery date later than the otherwise applicable SoL.

  5. Ned Ludd

    The Washington Post has a longer article up
    about the Koch lawsuit against Cato.

    “Cato’s board chairman, Bob Levy, said in an interview that the Koch brothers, who have the power to appoint half of the board, have been choosing ‘Koch operatives’ for members, with an eye to push Cato toward support of the Republican Party.”

    According to the article, Charles Koch and Cato President Ed Crane had a falling-out in 1991 – given the timing, maybe it was caused by a disagreement over the first Gulf War. Cato has a reputation of being non-interventionist and was a vocal critic of the Iraq War. RT just had an interview with a Cato foreign policy analyst, Malou Innocent, about the military budget, warmongering against Iran, and the use of drones. Are their any progressives that work for establishment liberal groups making these kind of arguments on MSNBC?

    “Americans for Prosperity”, a group currently tied to the Koch brothers, is silent on foreign policy, civil liberties, and government surveillance. AFP’s not really a libertarian group as much as it is a pro-corporate group. Cato is more consistently libertarian. I think the Koch lawsuit is a move to silence one of the few establishment voices in Washington willing to criticize war, military spending, and what Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin called the “bipartisan normalization and legitimization of a national-surveillance state.”

  6. superduperdave

    But Yves! Re: More Americans Rejecting Marriage in 50s and Beyond, New York Times, you said: Elderly single people can move into retirement homes or find roommates or communal living situations for companionship, and I suspect we’ll see more experimentation with living arrangements among unattached old people.

    But think about it. That could lead to old people having sex! Oow…

    1. LucyLulu

      Relax, Dave. As long as birth control isn’t being used to prevent conception, it’s all cool.

      1. BondsOfSteel

        Or, you could argue that the Republicans have no interest in controling the sex lives of older women. Only ones they would like to watch…

      2. F. Beard

        There has recently been a cure for loss of egg production in older women or tired egg syndrome, I fergit which; I just just skimmed the article in Science Daily.

    2. Maximilien

      “Elderly single people can move into retirement homes or find roommates or communal living situations for companionship, and I suspect we’ll see more experimentation with living arrangements among unattached old people.”

      Yves: Elderly people don’t “move” or “find” or “situate” or “experiment” or “arrange” or “attach” as easily as you might think. They usually have an aversion to the new, the strange, the different, the unfamiliar. Any change in living arrangements almost always has to be forced upon them, and even then they rarely grow to like them.

      The few long-term care facilities I’ve been in were oppressive places. The residents appeared unhappy and they seemed to want to have nothing to
      do with each other. There was very little in the way of merry interaction
      between them. They mainly sat by themselves or in front of the TV–
      unless the house lecher was making his rounds, trying to seduce the dotty
      old ladies.

      In my experience, the elderly want to be at “home”, even if that means being alone. They are reluctant to share their homes, and then only with close friends or relatives they get along with. They can be very picky
      about whom they live with. Remember, they’re not 25 and in the market for a “roomie” anymore.

      All of this makes arranging other living situations for the elderly very, very difficult, and shows why those who can no longer live at home alone are often institutionalized.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The meerkats: “Together, we are too big to fail. We buy from each other.”

        Except the guy on the right…’I am already too big to fail by myself alone. Why am I stuck with those losers? I see fortune in outsourcing.’

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Too much of something could desensitize you to that thing.

      Basically, retired deodorant testers tend to report not smelling anything unpleasant (to ‘civilized’ people) on crowded buses.

  7. scraping_by

    From the Cato story:

    “Mr. Koch’s actions in Kansas court yesterday represent an effort by him to transform Cato from an independent, nonpartisan research organization into a political entity that might better support his partisan agenda. ”

    Transform? Down the rabbit hole.

    The real action in a police state is sometimes lethal jockeying among elites for control of public resources. Once the great mass of people is disenfranchised (rigged elections, controlled voting machines, culled voter roles, mass propaganda, etc.) it’s a more vicious game within a smaller arena for less and less important prizes and trophies.

    Mr. Crane might do well to watch his back.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      scraping_by, so true. The Elite now fights for the spoils; and it won’t be long now before the .01% starts kicking their .99% Agents out into the street. You know how it goes: “And then they came for me.”

  8. F. Beard

    I hate to repeat this but the drug war is anti-Scripture:

    Give strong drink to him who is perishing,
    And wine to him whose life is bitter.
    Let him drink and forget his poverty
    And remember his trouble no more.
    Open your mouth for the mute,
    For the rights of all the unfortunate.
    Open your mouth, judge righteously,
    And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.
    Proverbs 31:6-10

    IF we had an honest money system, it would be much more likely that we would not have much poverty to begin with. So if we wish to reduce drug use then we should fix the money system.

  9. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Is Greece a failed state?

    Is Earth a failed planet? Maybe not yet, but wait till the 0.01% discover a reachable, hospitable exo-planet.

    1. F. Beard

      but wait till the 0.01% discover a reachable, hospitable exo-planet. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Extremely unlikely. The nearest star is 4 light years away and Earth appears to be extremely blessed wrt being hospitable.

      We are all stuck on this planet together. We’d best learn how to get along.

      1. justanotherobserver

        maybe we would get along better if the psychopaths in the 0.1% weren’t around mucking things up.

        problem is, they’ll just get replaced with a different 0.01%.

        The problem is how to design a society that protects us from the 0.01%. a long time ago, someone suggested a system of laws, but lately that hasn’t worked out too well.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      MyLess, there was a rush by the .01% to put their DNA on Mars by NASA (at public expense), but now they’ve discovered that one of Saturn’s moons is surrounded by oxygen. Expect more tax money to go to NASA or some “private-public partnership” now.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Thats great for the 0.01%. They can use the money budgeted for warp drive on something else.

  10. Tim

    Re Shared Housing for Singles Over Fifty

    Besides the psychological dimensions of this there is the difficulty of finding and affording the physical space in which to live. Other than renting some miserable lonely apartment in a giant hive of atomized individuals or an expensive duplex there are alternatives. Communal living is the answer.

    Here’s one site that has practical suggestions and examples of how such an affordable commune of like minded individuals is formed and with details of how it’s maintained.

  11. brian

    alone but not lonely
    never married
    retired at 57 now 62
    loneliness has never been an issue although i do share my home with 2 adorable cats who are definately NC photo material
    perhaps being an only child and growing up in a blue collar economic household
    you learn independence and self reliance at a young age
    buried my self in education until 29
    then work and foreign travel as an escape/reward
    relived my 20’s in my 30’s
    by then my peers married or divorced with some one elses kids i didn’t want the responsibility for
    the grand passions were never around long enough for one or another reason
    never felt simple compatibility was enough to settle for
    that belief confirmed as i saw many marriages fall apart from parties in 40’s or 50’s once the kids grown/gone with resulting financial/emotional damage
    someone told me when i was in my early 30’s i was too idealistic
    don’t think so but if i have to i plead guilty

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      brian, well done. If you have no progeny, you are “off the wheel.” The solitary life can be a blessed life of contemplation and activity, with freedom to work and socialize as spontaneously as ongoing life itself.

      I have been married “till death us did part” and I have led the solitary life through the decades. Without progeny, I am “off the wheel.” I enjoy living the examined life, and am generous with my friends and family. When I cease to be useful, to be able to contribute to the welfare of humanity, I shall be relieved to die.

  12. gael

    Meerkats, big cats….strange this site is always posting pics of what I’m currently animating.

  13. Seal

    Google’s ‘lack of service’ is mind boggling. I have attempted to set up a DIY photo agency for some of my best photos to seel for editorial use. I attempted to get Google’s AdWords product – what ever that IS – to increase to hit ratio of my photo keywords and locations.

    NOTHING,NADA information from Google. It’s extremely difficult even to find links to submit an inquiry, mostly I end up in circular links.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      “REGIME CHANGE BEGINS AT HOME: Freeing America From Corporate Rule” by Charles Derber (San Francisco, BK/Berret-Koehler Publishers, Inc. 2004):


      “Free markets! Free trade! Free people! Free Iraq! Free world! Free after-Thanksgiving sales! Freedom is the seductive mantra of the third corporate regime.

      “Liberty, of course, has always been at the heart of American ideology. What is new is a rhetoric of freedom for big business, and big problems for the rest of us.

      “It is all part of the corporate mystique, the regime’s ideology telling us that a ‘free market,’ based on unfettered corporate liberty, is the best of all possible worlds….The corporation is the golden goose, but it needs free range. When freed to do what if wants, it delivers the goods, If we shackle it, we shackle ourselves and our prospects for the good life. Kill corporate freedom and we kill off democracy. The mystique, while rhetorically embracing personal liberty, in truth nourishes one form of personal freedom: the right to splurge at the mall.” (pp. 49-50)

      “The freedom dreamed of by the Founders is at high risk….One dollar, one vote. That is the democracy of the corporate mystique….

      “The regime then gets away with its frightening restraints on personal civil liberties, symbolized by the notorious act….”

      “The corporate mystique, and its consumerist brand of democracy, was born in the first corporate regime [the Golden Age] and turned into a national religion in the second corporate regime of the Roaring Twenties…. Globalization is the spread of the corporate mystique as the universal religion of the planet, and it is the cutting edge of the third corporate regime’s ideology [from Reagan through Bush II].

      “One of the chief ideologues of globalization, “New York Times” columnist Thomas Friedman, writes that ‘… today, there is only free-market vanilla.’ Nobody puts the regime’s line better than Friedman. Corporations are not good and necessary for the happiness only of Americans, but of everyone in the world. And even if you don’t like it, you better learn to, because the train is out of the station and can’t be turned around. ‘I feel about globalization a lot like I feel about the dawn. Generally speaking, I feel it’s a good thing that the sun comes up every morning…. But even if I didn’t much care for the dawn there isn’t much I could do about it…. I’m not going to waste my time trying.’

      “This is the corporate mystique as God’s way….” (pp. 50-51)

      PART III of Derber’s book–“Regime Change”–encompasses: “Regime Change Begins with You” – “A New, Old Road Map for Change” – “Requilting the Big Tent” — and his Appendix reads: “What You Can Do To Promote Regime Change” —- BUY THE BOOK of this thoughtful author to find out how.

      OCCUPY Charlotte 2012: “Regime Change Begins at Home”


      American Rebels Unite! We’ve done it before, let’s do it again NOW. It’s the REAL “American Way” of freedom, history shows.

  14. Walter Wit Man

    Re Quran Burning:

    Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.

    This has all the hallmarks of a U.S. psy operation. Notice the lack of detail and the excuse for the lack of details (i.e. that the facts may spark further outrage).

    There is no plausible story for how this happened. Are Afghan laborers just wandering around one of the most secure military bases in the world? Did they run up to the U.S. guys and rescue the Koran’s mid burning? Why would U.S. troops let Afghanis remove half burned Korans? It looks like a number of Korans so wouldn’t it be unlikely they snuck them off the base? Certainly even though the U.S. troops are suppossedly not culturally aware they are aware that Muslims would be upset if they saw U.S. troops burning Korans.

    No way this was an accident.

    And did you notice the coup de grace? The U.S. MAY HAVE TO STAY IN AFGHANISTAN longer because those silly natives went crazy and Uncle Sam has to stay and baby sit a bit longer.


    This was a psy operation to hide the fact NATO brutally murdered 8 children.

    Most of our media is nothing but lies. And too many suckers are gobbling it up. We are the crazy savages. We kill their children and then fuck with their minds.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Here are the main objectives of this sick operation:

      1. Propaganda aimed at the American people to distract them from the reality that their military is killing children on a massive scale for no reason. Americans are being told to focus on the rioting, which they are told is the result of silly religious superstition and not legitimate grievances.

      2. Propaganda aimed at the Afghani people. They are shown that all resistance is futile. If they complain about the brutal murder of their children America will pretend not to hear this complaint and will instead pretend that the Afghanis only have the book burning to be upset by.

      3. It’s something that divides the two parties. The Republicans can act like Obama is “soft” for apologizing (even if it was a fake apology meant to fuck with Afghan heads), whereas the Democrats will pretend that they are the compassionate ones that want to treat the Afghanis with respect.

      4. AN EXCUSE TO PROLONG THE WAR. The natives are rioting so the U.S. can’t leave these savages to themselves. They will evidently tear themselves up, or something, so the U.S. needs to supervise. Wow, these fascists are devious to use this as an excuse.

      1. SR6719

        Good comment.

        I agree the Quran burning was probably not an accident, therefore your explanation is more likely to be true than the official version we’ve been handed.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Thanks. Ever since I stumbled upon this theory it really made my spine tingle and I just knew the theory was most likely true. I was very suspicious the first time it happened after the dozen or so children were killed and then the Florida pastor burned a Koran. But since we’ve now seen this repeated and the reaction benefits the U.S. so much and is actually pretty easy to carry out, and it’s clever and effective, it just has to be true.

          I’m sure of it now.

          But then I get disgusted by how sick this is. We are ruled by evil war criminals. If you vote Democrat or Republican you are just like those who voted for Nazi war criminals. No difference.

    2. SR6719

      The US media can be summarized like this: more and more information, producing less and less meaning. Ultimately what this leads to is 100 percent information, broadcasting 24/7, with degree zero of meaning. Kind of like these transistorized implants portrayed in Philip K. Dick’s novel, “The Simulacra”.

      Set in the middle of the 21st century, Dick portrays a totalitarian future in which the whole government is a fraud and the President is an android.

      Like most of Dick’s novels it deals with themes of reality and illusion. At one point in the book, some kind of electronic advertising leeches attach themselves to the human body like parasites that are very hard to get rid of. Once attached, they broadcast advertising / propaganda messages 24/7.

      That’s how I think of the US media today.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Sounds like an interesting read. We may already have that parasit–television.

        Did you these fake videos supposedly coming out of Syria?

        Al Jazeera is looking pretty bad and so is CNN (well, more than usual at least). A U.S. NGO, Avaaz, funded in part by MoveOn, seems to be producing some of this propaganda.

        They are literally filming fake videos involving injured children and others and broadcasting it into our homes!

        Tyler Hicks tells lies about Syria in the New York Times as well.

        This of course only makes it more likely that the Koran burning was a psy op. Obama evidently signed something or is invoking one of his fascist powers to attack the American people with war propaganda on many different fronts.

        And we can see who the perps and perp enablers are. It is becoming more obvious. They are remaining silent on the issue of war propaganda and fake videos and fake news.

  15. spooz

    I was in agreement with the Forbes Drug War/Jim Crow piece until I got to this:

    “It’s as chilling to believe that “drug warriors are perpetrating non-racial means to marginalize African Americans as it is to believe that Planned Parenthood is practicing genocide by playing a leading role in terminating 40% of black pregnancies, making abortion the leading cause of death among African Americans.”

    Apples and oranges, for me.

    I don’t get that at all.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      spooz, that may be the money quote, and the “tell” of real purpose: Are Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers are going to PERVERT the issue of incarceration of Blacks (esp. for drug use) to begin a new, perverse Republican PUTSCH against abortion and birth control, pandering to the Institutional Black Christian vote?

      The perversion of the conclusion that you relate makes me think that some nefarious, perverse plot is afoot. And when it comes to nefarious and perverse, Republicans take the prize.

  16. financial matters

    Just wanted to throw this in here somewhere… Jack Lew is Obama’s new chief of staff replacing and apparently recommended by ex banker Bill Daley

    from Wikipedia…

    In June 2006, Lew was named chief operating officer of Citigroup’s Alternative Investments unit, a proprietary trading group. The unit he oversaw invested in a hedge fund “that bet on the housing market to collapse” (

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      fm, that means Jacob Lew is the “Chicago Mafia” pick. Payola to Daley for letting Rahm take his post continues still.

  17. Max424

    “I bet sex at zero G isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either.”

    How will mankind ever know, if mankind doesn’t try it?

    Note: I had zero G sex in a dream once. I have to admit, the lovemaking proved difficult. My partner and I gave-it-our-all to perform 69, but she kept floating off, and the best we could muster, was 53.

    But that was a dream. I say, we must embrace –then embrace again!– our long lost pioneering spirit!

    Besides, the eyeballing of a nice rack in all that weightlessness might supercharge my erotic engine.

    What’s this gonna set me back? 200 grand? I need to make a big score. How much are lottery tickets? One dollar?

  18. balois

    Youth unemployment in Europe: These stats need to be consumed with a ton of salt. Some systems are so screwed up and discourage youngsters to officially get a job, they prefer welfare warehousing and collect an array of excellent benefits – and at the same time get good money from their, sometimes multiple, cash jobs.
    Also noteworthy: ‘Higher’ education has been pushed in some countries with impressive results of the number of students passing degrees … by lowering the standards and introducing useless curricula. As a result there are plenty of unemployed bachelors, masters, even PhD s of some obscure social science but thousands of job openings for professional mechanics, plumbers, electricians, nurses, engineers, chemists, bakers, butchers and on it goes.

  19. taxpayer

    “When You Pay Google For A Service, Don’t Expect Any Actual Help”
    Adwords users can have similar problems. At the Henry George School we decided to advertise on news articles about “poverty.” Somehow this turned out to be mostly articles about crime and shootings. So we asked google to exclude articles with words like “police” and “gun.” They just couldn’t do it. Looking at one of their forums, I saw that others had similar difficulties. So we just gave up on them. Weeks later, I received an email apparently from a live google person, offering to help, but it was too late to bother with them.

  20. Max424

    For third time in the last half decade, Iran has discovered a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious oil field. I say, hooray! It only means more oil for us, once we take them over!*

    The piece is 90% pure bullshit, of course. I have no doubt that Iranian geologists found something, perhaps even a semi-significant petroleum deposit –one with (maybe!) as much a 1 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil! Or, enough to meet the planet’s oil requirements for 12 whole days!

    That’s not why I linked to the piece, however. What I found interesting (fascinating!), was the comment section. Several Mullah inspired commentators passionately believe that the newly discovered oil must be saved for future generations. One, Realist, actually spells out -in one concise paragraph– a very practical master plan for saving the Godsend for the children of Iran’s children’s children.

    And all this ties in with my new field of study, which might be considered a lunatic sub-branch (I’m still not sure) of the Export Land Model.

    The ELM is pretty simple, really; it proposes, that when oil consumption exceeds oil production (which, by the Physical Laws of Nature, God and Math, it must), whether you are a state like California (it happened in ’75), or a nation-state like Iran (some day very soon), you then become, a net oil importer.

    My own ELM sub-branch adds a slippery twist to the theory. It asks: What would happen if several, or all, of the planet’s 38 remaining exporting nation-states, took to slowing their individual models down, by selflessly, and presciently, saving the last of their rapidly depleting oil reserves, not so much for themselves, but for their much loved future progeny?

    Well, what I think happens at that point is pretty obvious; the much unloved future progeny of the planet’s 160 importing nation-states would find themselves fucked beyond all recognition … and any possible redemption.

    *I have no doubt that the grateful people of Iran will greet us as liberators, not conquerors, and they will gaily throw garlands under the treads of our tanks.

    btw: This post was for our future grandkids –who not one single motherfucker inside the Beltway gives the slightest shit about.

  21. Englands Glory

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