Links 4/20/12

Starbucks to Stop Using Bug Extract to Color Frappuccinos Bloomberg. But bug extract is natural!

‘Huge’ water resource in Africa BBC. Brace yourself for renewed colonialism.

Apes’ Simple Nests Are Feats of Engineering Live Science (hat tip reader Aquifer)

Neal Stephenson on Science Fiction, Building Towers 20 Kilometers High … and Insurance Technology Review

Ego Depletion YouAreNotSoSmart (Aquifer). I don’t buy the cookie test. Weight conscious women would eat only one cookie.

Family upset field trip to library gets 6-year-old placed in jail Sun Times (Lambert)

Vatican Reprimands a Group of U.S. Nuns and Plans Changes New York Times

What a Hollande Victory Would Mean for Merkel Der Spiegel (Aquifer)

Europe Pressed as G-20 Warns of More Stress Bloomberg

Eurozone credit contagion, in 8 easy steps FT Alphaville

George Soros and the Bundesbank’s Patriotic Putsch Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

A transatlantic tale of paralysis Philip Stevens, Financial Times

From Hope to Hardball: How Barack Obama became Bill Clinton Noam Scheiber, The New Republic. Put aside the analysis, some of the information is useful.

Cartagena: Imperial garrisons, ladies of negotiable affection, and the horse race Lambert

Missing a bull market is a dismissible offense Edward Harrison

Economic Reports Spark Recovery Doubts Wall Street Journal

An Idea to Limit Body Attachments Bob Lawless, Credit Slips

Barclays changes Diamond bonus after shareholder pressure Telegraph

Down with Debt Weight Robert Skidelsky, Project Syndicate

The Real Foreclosure Fraud Story: Corruption of the Land Title System David Dayen

Foreclosure ripple effect: 8.3 million children in jeopardy MSNBC (Mark H)

A Study On Speculation in the Oil Market For Those Economists Who Have Apparently Not Seen It Jesse

Your Bank of America The Yes Men

Antidote du jour (James B):

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  1. IF

    And bug extract is the color of your alma mater and has a long and proud history (just using more efficient new world bugs these days, but still pretty natural)…

    “The word crimson has been recorded in English since 1400,[3] and its earlier forms include cremesin, crymysyn and cramoysin (cf. cramoisy, a crimson cloth). These were adapted via Old Spanish from the Medieval Latin cremesinus (also kermesinus or carmesinus), the dye produced from Kermes scale insects, and can be traced back to Arabic qermez (“red”), also borrowed in Turkish kırmızı and many other languages, e.g. German Karmesin, Italian Cremisi, French cramoisi, etc. (via Latin). The ultimate source may be Sanskrit कृमिज kṛmi-jā meaning “worm-made”.”

    1. LucyLulu

      “Her group was also cited in the Vatican document, along with the Leadership Conference, for focusing its work too much on poverty and economic injustice…..”

      Nuns focusing on poverty and economic injustice??? Shocking, postively shocking.
      Next thing you know, they’ll be wanting to address childhood hunger.

      Damn Republicans and their war on women!

    1. Kokuanani

      What IS that crazy-ass bird?

      I can’t figure it out.

      Also: TNR article won’t open @ link.

  2. CB

    Re: Your Bank of America Somewhere in the papers around here I have a satirical entreaty for sympathy for endangered billionaires that points out there are fewer of them then endangered tigers. Heartrending, as you might imagine.

    1. Dave of Maryland

      That’s an interesting thought. Where do billionaires place on the Endangered Species list?

      If wild, mad enthusiasm can make dodo birds extinct, what sort of wild, mad enthusiasm would make banksters extinct?

      1. Literary Critic

        “Where do billionaires place on the Endangered Species list?”

        1st, I would assume.

        Wild enthusiasm:

        Drill to the center of the earth, transport a small black hole to the exact center. The gravitational field compresses the Earth to the size of a basketball. The enormous gravity prevents the billionaires escape to outer space via their private spacecraft.

        A Schrödinger’s cat box, full of emergency rations of catfood and a stasis field generator in an unknown state, has been placed in orbit around the sun between Earth and Venus.

        On a decaying orbit, Basketball Earth crashes into the Schrödinger’s cat box and pops it open, activating the stasis field which captures their souls as they plunge into the depths of the sun.

        The stasis field generator melts, their souls come out of stasis, and they discover that the center of the sun is pure hell, and eating catfood really, really sucks.

        Just kidding.

  3. prostratedragon

    From a speech delivered by someone who had an expericence quite similar to young Mr. Stovall’s, may he do as well at getting even:

    When I was no more than six years of age, I did something that my father considered worthy of reprimand. I don’t recall what transgression it was â at the age of six, it could have hardly involved a serving girl!

    Whatever, father sent me to the local police station with a note. The officer on-duty read it and locked me in a jail cell for five minutes, saying “This is what we do to naughty boys.”

    I have, ever since, gone to any lengths to avoid arrest and confinement.

    To you, young people, my message is “stay out of jail”!

    Some day, one of you may be standing here, with this American Film Institute Award â that’s what they do to good little boys!

    Good evening!!!

    Alfred Hitchcock, whose tv show, for better or worse, was one of my favorites when I was 6 years old.

    1. barrisj

      Ever since the US/Obama tacitly supported the golpe in Honduras in 2009, Reagan-era death-squad activity is on the rise throughout the region. “Hope and Change” brought to our Latin American neighbours!

    2. F. Beard

      Skippy… USA, USA, Europe, big steaming piles of Capital! Skippy

      Real capitol is good but our crooked money system has unjustly concentrated the ownership and control of it.

      And now unemployment is high even with plenty of real work to do.

      1. Skippy

        It is estimated that before America was colonized, 100MM people occupied the land. Between the time the first explorers landed and actual colonization occurred, up to 90% of the indigenous people had died.

        This was capital[s will, a ongoing IMO enterprise.

        Skippy… get stuffed.

        1. F. Beard

          Between the time the first explorers landed and actual colonization occurred, up to 90% of the indigenous people had died. Skippy

          Well, it just as easy could have gone the other way, eh? Or both ways? What if American diseases had wiped out 90% of Europe? And Asia? And Africa?

          This was capital[s will, Skippy

          Well, at least with technology the human race has a chance of long term survival in a dangerous universe. And eventually, technology will have a very low impact on nature as we continue to do more and more with less and less.

          Skippy… get stuffed. Skippy

          Spaghetti is cooking now, thanks.

        2. F. Beard

          Oh, and don’t you remember the grand goal in the “Dune” series was the survival of the human race via dispersion? We gots to get off this planet,no?

          1. Skippy

            Dune is a book, whats your point?

            “Well, it just as easy could have gone the other way” …beard.

            Skip here, your ability to time travel is amazing and the get them before they get you rule is biblical 101, eh. BTW it was a a cold blooded and calculated maneuver… cough…. murder of women and children.

            “And eventually, technology will have a very low impact on nature as we continue to do more and more with less and less” …beard

            Skippy… More time travel. Its just the opposite, when you factor in world population coming on line. Its like overlapping GOM / fookmeshimas, big ones and endless little ones. Enjoy your ignorance, whilst you can.

          2. F. Beard

            Skip here, your ability to time travel is amazing and the get them before they get you rule is biblical 101, eh. BTW it was a a cold blooded and calculated maneuver… cough…. murder of women and children. Skippy

            Deliberate introduction of disease (small-pox blankets, etc.) came later is my understanding. The initial wipe out of 90% (95%?) of the native population was accidental or so I have read. Do you have a link to contrary evidence?

          3. F. Beard

            Dune is a book, whats your point? Skippy

            In Dune, humans had already settled 13,300 worlds. We are still stuck on just one! We are a sitting duck as far as extinction goes IF there is no God or someone else to protect us or we don’t develop technology to protect ourselves or disperse.

          4. skippy

            You need to improver your reading list. Biological warfare was engaged long before the Americas.


            Hay, Scythian archers infected their arrows by dipping them in decomposing bodies or in blood mixed with manure as far back as 400 BC.

            Skippy… just to be clear, this formula was used against every indigenous population eruo centric colonizers encountered. Those that survived were butchered, driven off ancestral land or enslaved. Economy’s built upon grave yards for the extraction of wealth…. for… a few. Repetitive… eh. Capital has superseded monarchy and now nation states… whats not to like LOL.

          5. F. Beard

            Capital has superseded monarchy Skippy

            The bankers superseded monarchy with their clever usury for counterfeit money scheme.

            But anyway, at enormous expense in blood and natural resources, the real capital has been built and (IF there is no one ELSE to protect us) is our only hope for survival of the human race.

            But I’d like more evidence that the early depopulation of the Americas was deliberate. Or was the Black Plague deliberate too?

          6. skippy

            Mate the evidence is prolific, seek and you shall find.

            Black Death had more to do with the overcrowded and filthy living conditions (human feed lots, see cattle), than any human malfeasance.

            Skippy… Capital supersedes – even – the banks, banks are just the accountants to capitol, playing with price. Capital is – the – *value*. Not unlike a monarchs geological sheep skin, Jesus is the first HUMAN upon them, but, his creator is the first NAME upon it. Capisce. When you understand what Capital is and what comprises it, you can leave the economist priest’s behind.

          7. skippy

            Please, its one data point and I was aware of it before. Try broadening your search, so as to diminish the bias static.

            Finzsch suggests four hypotheses, which are intrinsically connected and which form the basis for a theory labelled “Settler Imperialism”. First, he proposes a new definition of genocide, which is grounded in a different interpretation of the concept of the event. Secondly, he argues in favour of a sliding continuum of genocide that ranges from everyday practices to organized mass murder. Thirdly he indicates that phenomena which are commonly called genocide rest upon invisible everyday practices that do not appear on the radar of transgressions, forming different plateaus of a rhizomatic expansion, called settler imperialism. Lastly, Finzsch makes a case for the reality of a merciless, albeit low-intensity war against the indigenous populations preceding organized modern wars like the ones led in the 150 years of our epoch, but already using biological methods to drive away, decimate or annihilate indigenous populations. Two historical examples are used for this line of reasoning: the use of pathogens derived from the smallpox against Native Americans in North America during the French and Indian Wars in the eighteenth century and the probable employ of these pathogens in the destruction of the Dharug and Kurringgai in Sydney 1789. Although in the latter case irrefutable evidence for the application of the smallpox virus is missing, circumstantial evidence suggesting such appliance is very high. Colonial wars, like all wars, are aimed at the subjugation of the opponents under the will of the victorious party. In the case of colonial wars the vanquished is generally the indigenous population. As the alien in the 1996 Sci-Fi movie Independence Day wanted humans simply to die, settlers in the Anglosphere wished the Indigenous to simply disappear. It was totally acceptable that this goal was achieved through seemingly natural causes like loss of lands and diminishing ecospheres. Under certain conditions, however, the exterminalist discourse changed its register and the consequence was either low intensity warfare or biological warfare. Only when this turned out to be insufficient, settler imperialists increased the intensity of the exterminalist agenda and resorted to mass killings that surmounted the threshold of visibility.


            Historical overview of biological warfare.


            When Columbus returned in 1493 he brought a force of 17 ships. He began to implement slavery and mass-extermination of the Taino population of the Caribbean. Within three years five million were dead. Fifty years later the Spanish census recorded only 200 living! Las Casas, the primary historian of the Columbian era, writes of numerous accounts of the horrendous acts that the Spanish colonists inflicted upon the indigenous people, which included hanging them en masse, roasting them on spits, hacking their children into pieces to be used as dog food, and the list continues.

            This did not end with Columbus’ departure, the European colonies and the newly declared United States continued similar conquests. Massacres occurred across the land such as the Wounded Knee Massacre. Not only was the method of massacre used, other methods for “Indian Removal” and “clearing” included military slaughter of tribal villages, bounties on native scalps, and biological warfare. British agents intentionally gave Tribes blankets that were intentionally contaminated with smallpox. Over 100 thousand died among the Mingo, Delaware, Shawnee and other Ohio River nations. The U.S. army followed suit and used the same method on the Plains tribal populations with similar success.


            More on request.

            Skippy…. BTW beard, do you work for Science daily or any GE affiliates? HAHAHAHAHA! They are headquartered in Rockville MD.

          8. F. Beard

            BTW beard, do you work for Science daily or any GE affiliates? Skippy

            Nope. Have you got a better science web site in mind?

          9. skippy

            Yes… anything not affiliated with GE or massive corporations.

            So anything to say about the evidence?

            Skippy… BTW so as kids, when we celebrated Columbus day, we in fact, were celebrating a mass / genocidal murderer. Whom was an agent of Spain, rinse and repute by most eruo centric nations across the world. On going IMO. USA, USA, USA!

          10. F. Beard

            So anything to say about the evidence? Skippy

            Still reading the Wiki article. My current impression is that natives in the Americas were sitting ducks for diseases.

          11. skippy

            Are you that thick…

            When Columbus returned in 1493 he brought a force of 17 ships. He began to implement slavery and mass-extermination of the Taino population of the Caribbean. Within three years five million were dead. Fifty years later the Spanish census recorded only 200 living! Las Casas, the primary historian of the Columbian era, writes of numerous accounts of the horrendous acts that the Spanish colonists inflicted upon the indigenous people, which included hanging them en masse, roasting them on spits, hacking their children into pieces to be used as dog food, and the list continues.

            Skip here… That is just one isolated data point, there is a massive amount besides that. All these things were premeditated.

            Skippy… I used to think you were just uninformed, ignorant, blinded by your religious dogma. I now understand your position, you would have carried the cross, along side the nation state flags, whilst the godless were removed from your path. With glee in your heart for you were doing gawds work.

            PS. Do not reply to any comments I make in the future. I find you repugnant in the extreme.

            “My current impression is that natives in the Americas were sitting ducks for diseases.”… beard.

            Get ****FUCKED**** thumper apologist.

  4. Rex

    “I have a satirical entreaty for sympathy for endangered billionaires that points out there are fewer of them then endangered tigers.”

    I get it (I think). If we preserve billionaires then we will have fewer endangered tigers. Hard to follow the cause and effect, though, even satirically. And I think you should have a comma after ‘them’. Or did you mean, “there are fewer of them THAN endangered tigers”?

    (I am an over worked and under paid member of the “Then/Than” police.)

  5. Richard Kline

    Apes’ nests, feats of engineering. Unlike yer typical ticky-tacky sheetrock suburban domiciles, which are defeats of financial engineering, and last about as long as the former.

    1. skippy

      Modern housing – equals – roach motels.

      Skippy… like food… it should come with an accurate list of ingredients et al.

      1. psychohistorian

        What with the ongoing insertion of skeletons in the closets and dirt swept under the rug, the ingredients of an American household keep changing.

        Orwell, spinning in his grave from understatement, should be tapped as a “green” energy source.

  6. ambrit

    Dear Sir or Madam;
    Colonialism never realy left Africa, just went underground. Now, the Chineese have entered the Great Game, and the West is playing catch-up. As usual, no one seems to be asking the locals what they think. The subtext here is the finite nature of these resources, very much like Americas’ Ollagalla Aquifer beneath the Great Midwest Wheat Belt. When that one fails, large sections of the Third World will go hungry. Everything is connected, no one gets out of here alive.
    Hi ho, off to work.

      1. evodevo

        Yep. The Bantu farmers moved east and south and ran the indigenous hunter-gatherers further south into the marginal drylands. History repeats itself.

        The map with the article was interesting – large evidently untapped aquifers under our usual famine regions – Niger, Chad, Sudan, etc. Probably would just become a political football, rather than being exploited in a sustainable way, however.

    1. Susan the other

      Thinking back to the 70s. Willy Brandt during the Nixon Adm. Germany had an east-west policy of diplomacy with the Soviets which was dedicated to resolving antagonism without hot war and it made the US nervous. Germany also had a north-south strategy to develop “relations” with Africa. At the time I thought they were just planning ahead in case we were headed for an ice age. Still wonder about climate as one analysis is that there is always a global warming before the onset of an ice age. Mexico here we come.

    1. Susan the other

      The situation is beyond my understanding because hiding and falsifying documents is not going to help. And sooner or later it will blow up. What is the significance of the year 2014? Probably nothing. The really annoying thing is that judges tell homeowners to just buy title insurance! Right. Besides the fact that you almost can’t get a title insurance policy anymore, the “insurance” they do sell for a king’s ransom has an exception for a MERS-style clouded title. Kid you not. And when asked to fix something they just say, “Whoa… that ain’t mine!”

      1. Up the Ante

        the spectacle

        Could the judges possibly not be aware of what you said ?

        kicking the can

        Somebody ask Iceland’s PM what he thinks of that U.S. judicial response.

      2. hermanas

        ” judges tell homeowners to just buy title insurance! Right. ” Thanks Sue. I think I’m melting.”

    2. LucyLulu

      When does the immunity for robosigning officially end? Does anybody know? Has it ended now that the judge signed off on the settlement agreement?

      I guess it probably doesn’t matter because the state AG’s won’t go after the lenders anyways. Though I’d think it would be helpful in cases such as Thigpen is bringing that they’d signed these agreements yet are continuing, especially if they can get a judge such as the one that nailed Wells Fargo on continuing to misapply payments and blaming it on their software.

  7. Jim Haygood

    ‘P.S. – Note the following quote on stock picking from the [GMO] article as it is important: because asset class selection packs a more deadly punch in the career and business risk game, the great investment opportunities are much more likely to be at the asset class level than at the stock or industry level [emphasis in original].’ — Ed Harrison

    Eh, Ed, ‘stock picking’ isn’t quite the mot juste to apply to GMO’s quote. GMO’s article includes a projected risk-return chart from a decade ago, showing allocations to TIPs, Treasuries, REITs and emerging market equities. Conspicuously missing were U.S. equities, which GMO considered (correctly) to be in Bubble territory.

    GMO’s only ‘stock picking’ at that time was to shun U.S. stocks entirely. As it happened, the four asset classes which they considered attractive performed swimmingly over the past decade — all four of them beating U.S. equities.

    Jeremy Grantham is saying that the choice of the right asset classes trumps the selection of individual securities or sectors. These days, even individual investors can structure a sophisticated multi-asset class portfolio with just a handful of ETFs. But no-o-o-o-o … they’d rather buy an AAPL lottery ticket. Let’s see how that works out for them!

  8. JTFaraday

    Budget deficits have states selling off state prisons:

    “states are so broke they’ve resorted to selling off their correctional facilities (with the prisoners inside) as a way to cut costs and make ends meet. In 2011, for instance, Ohio sold one of its prisons for $73 million to the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the largest private prison company in the country.

    And make no mistake: CCA and its ilk are eager buyers. As the Huffington Post reported in February, CCA sent a letter to 48 governors offering to buy — not just manage, but acquire entirely — prisons in their states. The company said it had earmarked $250 million for buying and running state-owned prisons as part of a “corrections investment initiative.”

    But CCA, to borrow a trope from journalism, buried the “lede” in the governors’ letter. The real head-snapping revelation appeared in the third-to-last paragraph: in exchange for buying a state’s prison, CCA required that the state prison agency ensure that the prison remained at least 90% full. Translation: We’ll buy your prisons and keep ’em orderly and clean, so as long you keep the prisoners coming in.”

    In return, corporate America gets on-shore managed labor:

    “Prisoners, whose ranks increasingly consist of those for whom the legitimate economy has found no use, now make up a virtual brigade within the reserve army of the unemployed whose ranks have ballooned along with the U.S. incarceration rate. The Corrections Corporation of America and G4S (formerly Wackenhut), two prison privatizers, sell inmate labor at subminimum wages to Fortune 500 corporations like Chevron, Bank of America, AT&T, and IBM.

    These companies can, in most states, lease factories in prisons or prisoners to work on the outside. All told, nearly a million prisoners are now making office furniture, working in call centers, fabricating body armor, taking hotel reservations, working in slaughterhouses, or manufacturing textiles, shoes, and clothing, while getting paid somewhere between 93 cents and $4.73 per day.”

    “Locking Down an American Workforce Prison Labor as the Past–and Future– of American “Free-Market” Capitalism”
    By Steve Fraser and Joshua B. Freeman

    1. Dave of Maryland

      Hi-ho, Slavery returns. Give them wenches, let them breed, let the children be born as slaves, and presto, it’s all come back.

    2. Susan the other

      Except for the criminally insane, who all probably need special care and lockdown, the newly-emerging for-profit prison industry should go through a big anti-trust shakedown before it fucks up too seriously, and it should be forced to totally disband and decentralize. Individual citizens, willing to take on a prisoner, provide for publicly compensated room, board, medicine, and mentor/companionship (that could get interesting) should be allowed to take on this job. I’m sure the civiliziing would happen in both directions.

      1. Dave of Maryland

        Doonesbury tried this a decade or more ago, with a homeless person. It didn’t work, and for that, my compliments to the creator, for being honest.

    3. LucyLulu

      Finally, jobs can return to domestic shores, being able to compete with wages in third world countries. If the lazy and shiftless want jobs, they need only get themselves incarcerated, which will also address that criminal element to their mindset we all know they secretly harbor.

      It’s a win all the way around!

      1. Carla

        I trust you’ve all read “Slavery by Another Name” by Douglas Blackmon. It tells the whole story and lays out precisely what we’re in for.

  9. Jef

    Our endless pursuit of and our blind worship of Technology is the single biggest factor in the inevitable extinction of mankind.

    1. F. Beard

      If there is no Creator then mankind is doomed WITHOUT technology since the Universe is quite a hazardous place for life.

      One of these is estimated to have hit Earth 6 times already.

  10. JTFaraday

    re: “Family upset field trip to library gets 6-year-old placed in jail” Sun Times

    ““Is this supposed to be a scared-straight tactic?” Stephen’s indignant mother, Carmen Ware, wanted to know.”

    Nah. Career training.

    1. LucyLulu

      Yep. Ya notice all the kindergartners are black. Why would they need to see a library? The library is for white kids!
      (sarc off)

      Do you think that heads wouldn’t roll if the kindergarten had been in a neighborhood like Winnetka or Lake Forest instead?

  11. gilyc

    Weight conscious women would eat only one cookie.

    They also could eat many and purge later.

    1. JTFaraday

      That’s the way I write.

      What is it that they call it at Dartmouth– “boot and rally?”

    2. Jim

      My question is, why does a significantly higher percentage of people today consume more than one cookie, relative to 50 years ago.

  12. evodevo

    In re Cartagena – “If the Republicans don’t inflate this scandal to Travelgate dimensions — if the Rovian dog does not howl in the night — that curious incident would be a strong indicator that they just aren’t serious about election 2012. ”

    Or, the repubs are afraid if too many rocks are turned over, it might lead to incidents during Ronnie’s or W’s terms in office that would make this look like a middle school sleepover.

    1. No Know

      You had to believe Cheech & Chong would grow up some day…
      “Take a sip man, dis sum really good shit”. “Yeah, now we don’t got to worry about burning our fingers all da time, man.”

    2. LucyLulu

      Can they legally sell this wine?

      A link on the same page:

      This is reality in some places. I had a client who smoked pot. My superior suspected she did and told DSS (I knew she did, I’d seen it). She was 8 1/2 mos pregnant and had two other children. They wanted to get a drug screen on her and if it was positive, take her baby and children. I had educated her on the possible risk to her unborn baby from marijuana (which is basically unknown), gave her some articles to read, my own personal bias being to use no substances during pregnancy, which I’m sure I conveyed. She was intelligent, and she had quit drinking for her pregnancy, so she had made a thoughtful decision about the risks.

      My boss wanted me to get her urine, got the covering physician to write an order, her own doc was on vacation (and I knew would not approve), and tell her the urine was needed for other medical tests. I refused to carry out the order on the basis of ethical reasons, said I wouldn’t lie to her, which would mean she’d refuse the test. My boss said I wasn’t allowed to refuse, and got very angry. I stood my ground. It created a huge stink but the drug screen was never done.

      She was an excellent mother, more than I can say for many foster homes, when and if they could even find a foster home. There are never enough foster homes for the number of children that need them………. for legitimate reasons. The children would have been traumatized. While sometimes there is no choice, being removed from their homes is very traumatic to children, no matter how bad the home situation is, so should never be taken lightly. The mindset that recreational marijuana use means a parent is neglectful and the children should be removed from the home really does exist. And it is not in the best interest of the children unless there are other factors.

    1. No Know

      Re – “Nine Dead In Tragic Mixing of Metaphors”, it sounds like the law of untended truth or consequences to me.

      1. Fiesty

        I am new at this. Metaphors confuse me still.

        I try and avoid them.

        I do not want to screw up my pooch.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Yes, some have argued that it was the water, not the oil, that elevated Libya as a country of interest for the US.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      Yeah. Ghaddafi was going to exploit this water resource for the people of the region. That’s probably one of the reasons he was whacked.

      Now that Obama and his Nazi fascists have taken over the country they can rape away. We in the West will get to enjoy a little more money as we take the water away from those backward brutes in Africa.

      1. Neo-Realist

        I can forsee the corporations taking the water from the dark continent and selling it to states and municipalities whose water reserves have been contaminated by fracking and the ones that are suffering from droughts.

        Also a speeding up of privatization of water reserves on the domestic front as well.

    3. Aquifer

      I got the impression that that was not the only thing Ghaddafi was going to do – he was going to set up some sort of African bank, i think and switch from petrodollars ….

      In short, he was threatening to help Africa remove itself from Western dominance and form a geo center of its own. The guy was a schmuck – but that is not the reason the US got rid of him , only the excuse

      The presence of these aquifers has been known for some time – there were reports that control of water had a good deal to do with Sudan/Darfur.

      The West bank is another example – it overflies the water supplies that Israel needs – the Israeli’s don’t even allow the Palestinians to drill wells of any depth on their own land ….

      We always pretend it is about human rights – we forget to mention those human rights are rights to water …

      The privatization of water is the REAL biggie in the future, that’s where expropriations will happen and the deals will be made. Those who control water – literally control life ….

      Those of you who live on or near a good water source and are not protecting it are making a big boo-boo ….

      1. grey7beard

        I recently bought a small plot of land and am in the process of builing a mini farm to hang on. We have a well and good water. How does one go about protecting the water rights, least I make a big booboo?

  13. Up the Ante

    Here, I’ll put words in Geithner’s mouth,
    “We must teach these European-types the necessity of the ringfence.”.

    “Mr Weidmann says now that ECB’s bond buying scheme has reached its “limits” and that it is not the job of the central bank to “ensure a particular interest rate level for a particular country.” ”

    That’s your poker game, Ambrose, which I’m sure you’re aware of.

    Govt. as a biz corp. to be ‘accessed’ ever increasingly by those with means.

    1. Jim

      I believe that President Obama’s reelection chances would be better today if Geithner & Co. hadn’t insisted on the ECB bailouts. If the Eurozone had dissolved 18 months ago, it would be growing, in aggregate, at a 5%+ GDP growth rate today.

      The Eurozone will fail. It’s just a question of time.

  14. Hugh

    Jesse’s article on oil speculation is good. Mark Thoma recently had an article dismissing such speculation. Unlike Jesse, there is a man who can disbelieve his lying eyes. Thoma trotted out the same stale argument that for every buyer there is a seller so how could speculation sustain itself since the losers on the these trades would quickly all go bankrupt. The question that always comes up when an a so-called expert can’t see an obvious con is whether he is stupid or in on the con.

    Consider a simple system where you have two speculators and a mark. The speculators buy and sell futures back and forth between themselves, bidding up the price. They dominate the price because they are buying and selling dozens the amount of the actual physical commodity. Then they dump the higher price on the actual physical users and roll over the rest of their contracts between themselves. An idiot could understand this. So when a Mark Thoma says he can’t understand this, I for one go with dishonesty as an explanation.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Why has speculation only occurred recently? Why didn’t we see this speculation 10 years ago?

      Are you basing your analysis of the fundamentals on the Saudi representations about reserves and output?

      And I like Jesse but interesting to see the different analysis for oil and gold. He appears to buy the fundamental bullish case for gold but not oil. Why is this the case?

      1. Walter Wit Man

        To answer my own question, Jesse speculates that the failure to regulate the derivatives market is what led to recent speculation.

        But how much of the increase in oil prices is because of commercial banks speculating?

        Didn’t many other firms already have the ability to speculate on oil with futures? Isn’t this a world-wide market so would the repeal of Glass-Steagall really have brought a lot more money in? Couldn’t there have been collusion in the oil futures market without banks being involved?

      2. Hugh

        I have written about this here many times before. Non-commercial traders were only allowed into oil markets by the CFTC in 1993.

        In 2000, Phil Gramm inserted the Enron exception (allowing unregulated OTC futures trading) into the infamous Commodities Futures Modernization Act (CFMA).

        In 2004 moving along with the housing bubble, excess speculation in oil markets first became really noticeable. You can see for yourself the year over year price changes in futures prices at the site below.

        If you set against these price movements, historical events and supply-demand issues, you see that prices increase far in excess of any possible effect any of these could have had, and more tellingly remain elevated even when none of these issues was in play. And we aren’t talking small movements but like 30%-50% a year.

        The Senate Agriculture Committee which because of its roots in farming oversees futures and derivative trading released the Levin-Coleman report on this in 2006.

        We all remember the big spike in 2008, and since then there have been many smaller spikes. All of this has been out there for years. I started writing on it back in 2007. I still find it curious though that many still believe the very people who brought us the housing bubble and the largest financial frauds in world history somehow missed such an obvious target as the oil markets. It says something about the efficacity of their propaganda.

  15. Captain Kirk

    Whew. Breakfast time in Columbia again. Madam just got back from the store with a BMW load of eggs and bacon.

    Thank the Universe for McCoy’s “fun pills”. Otherwise the 30 gals around here may think me boring.

    You know, I’m starting to think that maybe one million dollars is quite a bit of money after all? I tried to talk it over with Spock some more, but he didn’t say much and almost laughed – which is a little unusual for Spock. So now I’m starting to suspect that maybe I shouldn’t have used Mrs President Obama’s 10 million dollar vacation tab as the data point to baseline my valuation of your currency. So I guess I’m still not sure how long Madam is going to keep me locked up here, but on the other hand, I’m in no hurry to leave either!

    Read the Neal Stephenson interview. I’m a big fan of his and read everything of his twice back in 4th grade Neal Stephenson class.

    Sorry to see he is a little perturbed about the state of sci-fi in your age. Truth is that sci-fi reflects the times – not the other way around. Basically, major scientific advances hit a brick wall in your time, and things don’t get “positive” until you break thru to a post scarcity era.

    His insurance idea didn’t pan out, and frankly, would make some pretty boring subject matter for real tech people and sci-fi writers both.

    But…breakfast is ready..gotta sign off for now.

    sent from iphone – columbia

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I doubt 20Km high towers are feats of engineering.

      On the other hand, 20 mm high, humans-livable towers are.

      1. Captain Kirk

        I’m afraid Neal is reaching way, way back to some pretty old sci-fi.

        Larry Niven already did “Integral Trees” back in the ’70s.

        The smoke ring – an immense gaseous envelope that had formed around a neutron star (this was NOT the earth post WWW3 in Niven’s version)was home to a variety of plant and animal life-forms evolved to thrive in conditions of continual free-fall. Integral sign shaped trees which had stable orbits (Niven claims he did the math!) are home to humanoids. I forgot if they had tails or not.

        Dan Simmons in his Hyperion series has a Templar tree space ship.

        The Consul remembered his first glimpse of the kilometer-long treeship as he closed for rendezvous, the treeship’s details blurred by the redundant machine and erg-generated containment fields which surrounded it like a spherical mist, but its leafy bulk clearly ablaze with thousands of lights which shone softly through leaves and thin-walled environment pods, or along countless platforms, bridges command decks, stairways and bowers. Around the base of the treeship, engineering and cargo spheres clustered like oversized galls while blue and violet streamers trailed behind like ten kilometer-long roots…

        The Consul paused, moved to the edge of the walkway, and took a quick step back. It was at least six hundred meters down – down being created by the one-sixth standard gravity being generated by the singularities imprisoned at the base of the tree …

        A Templar treeship normally carried between two and five thousand passengers; it was easily the most desirable way to travel between the stars.

        You have no idea what you’ve been missing!

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Ape nests, engineering feats.

    ‘They use the nests only once, and then move on.’ – aha, that’s where we got the ‘disposal bed’ idea.

    But notice that their world is a sustainable one, even with throw-away nests.


    They are not over-breading, that’s why.

    Something else is interesting here – ground-nesting:

    ‘Researchers have suggested that perhaps a lack of trees in different habitats could have caused humans to nest on the ground. The new study didn’t find evidence that ground-nesting chimpanzees do so because of a lack of trees.’

    So, what causes them to nest on the ground?

    My wacky suggestion and it’s called ‘Falling Out Of Your Nest syndrome – There was a genetic defect, we became inferior in that we stopped being able to balance ourselves when we slept.

    The significance? From the linked article again: ‘”This is intriguing as it has long been believed that coming down from the trees was a crucial evolutionary shift.”

    Here you have it, a genetic defect, a disability (my theory, anyway) made us the masters of the universe.

    Millions of years later, there would be another genetic defect (again, my wild speculation). This time, a mental disability that led humans (and humans only) to hallucinate that there were higher powers in some invisible world, compelling them to doodle uncontrollably on cave walls.

    The rest is history, as they say.

    1. Literary Critic

      “My wacky suggestion and it’s called ‘Falling Out Of Your Nest syndrome – There was a genetic defect, we became inferior in that we stopped being able to balance ourselves when we slept.”

      That would make quite a “tale”!

      Speech as genetic mutation – the world gets more complex when conceptualization allows the sharing of untruths, thought experiments, speculations and then cave drawing libraries passed truths and untruths down thru the generations.

      But what was the catalyst of the mutation? Or is it just a natural mathematical outcome of probability?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Maybe we were more exposed to cosmic rays due to our upright posture, which oould have been another genetic defect – we lost the ability to stay bent for a long time without chiropractic help, this time the cause could have been just accidental, for those of you who are always interested in the First Mover.

        1. Literary Critic

          Or maybe time is circular – there is no evolution at all – we just pass thru sinusoidal eco states and life goes round and round?

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    From the Ego Depletion link:

    “Despite his fame, the late 1800s wasn’t a good time to be in need of mental or physical care. Medical school was mostly about anatomy, physiology and the classics. You drew the insides of things and wondered what they did. You learned where the heart was, how to amputate a leg, and what Plato had to say about his cave. Pretty much everything useful that doctors know today was yet to be discovered or understood.”

    It’s arrogant to think the people in the future won’t say the same about us.

    Just ask Dr. McCoy in the whale-rescue movie, who referred the late 20th century medicine as ‘barbaric.’

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      From the same link:

      “In 2005, a team of psychologists made a group of college students feel like scum.”

      Don’t they do that for fun all the time?

  18. scraping_by

    Re: Cartagena

    What I noticed was that Barry was going to Columbia to sign another free trade agreement.

    In the media, The Story first mentioned things like American job loss, Columbian labor organizers murdered with government connivance, transhipment of drugs and laundering of money making narcoterrorists even richer, things like that. Now The Story is Boys Gone Wild.

    Given the amount of money sloshing around world-spanning news corporations, you’d think they could keep from getting their attention diverted.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Indeed, the story about perfectly-legal, harmless prostitution is a convenient distraction from the serious crime of rape by sodomy. The real scandal, with nary a discouraging word in MSM, is Barry’s new SHAFTA rigged-trade scams. Explicitly contrary to his campaign pledges, these promote murder and land theft.

      And yet this lying SOS, is destined to sail through to re[s]election in November. What a bizarre universe we inhabit.

  19. Valissa

    R.I.P. Levon Helm…

    The Band’s drummer Levon Helm dies at 71

    This first article is much shorter than the next one (which gives a much more complete overview of Helm’s musical past), and also includes a closing paragraph called R.I.P. Barnabas Collins honoring Jonathan Frid, who played Barnabas Collins in vampire soap opera “Dark Shadows.” This was the only soap opera I ever followed. My friends and I would rush home from school to see the next episode.

    Levon Helm, key member of The Band, dead at age 71

    The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

    Up On Cripple Creek

  20. Goin' South

    Reading today’s links, it’s funny how little things have changed in the last 40+ years. Those Midwestern poets Brewer & Shipley expressed it well at the time:

    Mr. Nixon
    I ain’t a fixin’
    To speak Spanish on a plane or polish off the liberty…Bell
    I just want to sit here on the shelf
    And watch you finish off the place by yourself
    Please let me do what I wanna
    I’ll just lay around the house and smoke Marijuana

    It says right there in the constitution
    It’s really A ok to have a revolution
    When the leader that you made
    Just don’t make the grade

    Oh mommy
    I ain’t no commie
    But I hate to bust your bubble cause there’s gonna be some trouble…Soon

  21. John

    How many remember this? April 20, 1914: The Ludlow Massacre

    he Ludlow Massacre was an attack by the Colorado National Guard on a tent colony of 1200 striking coal miners and their families at Ludlow, Colorado on April 20, 1914.

    The Ludlow Massacre was a watershed moment in American labor relations. Historian Howard Zinn has described the Ludlow Massacre as “the culminating act of perhaps the most violent struggle between corporate power and laboring men in American history”. Congress responded to public outcry by directing the House Committee on Mines and Mining to investigate the incident. Its report, published in 1915, was influential in promoting child labor laws and an eight-hour work day.


    1. K Ackermann

      There was a strike in Massachusetts in 1912 that was answered by the state militia and the National Guard.

      It wasn’t a massacre, but women and child laborers were beaten indiscriminately and brutally, and a 15-year-old boy was killed by bayonet.

  22. Crazy Horse

    re Cartagena:

    Bit of a stretch don’t you think, Lambert?

    Secret Service men behaving like idiots because they are members of the imperial storm troopers? Give a bunch of soldiers guns that they can regularly fondle and their thoughts naturally turn to their smaller caliber weaponry. Happens no matter whether their masters rule the world or merely the next city block.

    Lets not forget that the ladies were engaging in a business that is perfectly legal in Colombia. No, the crime that was committed is called idiocy. It is well known that when men think with their penis, the conclusions they reach are not always rational.But to think that a night with the gorgeous woman who has now come forward was only worth $30.00— now that is idiocy!

  23. Literary Critic

    Here’s a good one.

    Starts out with this controversial title, then goes on to explain what “the left” doesn’t understand. HA! He’s either never been to NC, or he is talking about that “other” left – the one that shares a bed with the right.

    But the good parts are the charts and data. I’ve got no easy way to verify the data, but you can see GDP and household income diverge, personal tax stay the same but corporate tax decline and an almost mirror image in payroll tax revenue increase! Love to show that one to simpson, peterson, et all.

    Then there is the breakdown of O vs R campaign contributions to date there too. Some more surprises – GS gave almost 400K to R, but gave more than 1000K to O!

    U of C beat the GS total for both sides – with a game winning 1600K for O! DeLong bashing anyone?

    Clearly O has Big Ed and Big Tech on his side.

    And what’s this I see? The US gov gave O 500K????

    I alway check the $3 NO on my tax return.

    “Why the Left Misunderstands Income Inequality”

  24. Carla

    Re: Foreclosure ripple effect: 8.3 million children in jeopardy

    It seems impossible to me that the number is that small.

    I’ll bet it’s at least 3 or 4 times that. (In the US only of course, which is all that story referred to.)

    1. Literary Critic

      Mucho amazing article. Just looked up the population of Japan – 127 million – so a third go bye-bye?

      At least China got over that WW2 thing with Japan.

      This is good! Refugees plus starving chinese make a superpower. Foreign Ministry experts say so.


      Foreign Ministry experts in this report note that should Japan accept China’s offer, the combined power of these two Asian peoples would make them the largest super-power in human history with an economy larger than that of the United States and European Union combined and able to field a combined military force of over 200 million.

      Then there is the succesfull cold shutdown of fuku story…I’ll assume our military is stocking rad pills for US japan bases and not US bases – for now.

      Even though this crisis in Japan has been described as “a nuclear war without a war” and the US Military is being reported is now stocking up on massive amounts of anti-radiation pills in preparation for nuclear fallout, there remains no evidence at all the ordinary peoples are being warned about this danger in any way whatsoever.

      1. Literary Critic

        Oh well. One thing leads to another.

        Found the referenced article talking about the US buying Rad pills.

        cool highlights:

        “In the listing it is made clear that they want to be ready in the event of nuclear fallout which has lead many to speculate that this could be in response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster or perhaps in anticipation for an attack on an active Iranian nuclear facility.”

        This gotcha if we fix Iran….but I thought it was the enrichment facilities we are after? oops..Blow back there?

        “The idea that the Israeli or US government would literally purposefully blow up a nuclear plant the size of Chernobyl is absolutely insane and shows the level that the globalists are willing to go to reach their goals.”

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Thank you. It’s a capital error to mess with the Agents of the legal system for recording sales and of immoveable property in Louisiana. It was Louisiana lawyers who made Big Tobacco pay, to the stupefaction of the Big Boyz.

      Doc 2, Page 21 of 30, [#]40: “The MERS scheme is defective and deficient.” Q.E.D. The diagram reveals the racket in toto. The text is complete. Nowhere to hide.

      Congratulations to these Clerks of Court in Louisiana, HEROES all. The Big Banks of MERS have met their match and more. This RICO suit will fly.

      Thanks to Mr. Weidner, Esq.: a HERO standing for truth and justice. Has William K. Black been notified?

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