Links 4/3/12

Breast cancer screens leads to ‘unnecessary treatment’ BBC (hat tip reader John L)

Good News for Norwegian Polar Bears: PCBs Levels Down Science News (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

US draws up plans for nuclear drones Guardian (hat tip reader John L)

Richard Clarke on Who Was Behind the Stuxnet Attack Smithsonian (hat tip Susie Madrak)

Defector tells how US officials ‘sexed up’ his fictions to make the case for 2003 invasion Independent (hat tip reader May S)

Britain weighs proposal to allow greatly increased Internet ‘snooping’ Washington Post

The time bomb no one can defuse Gideon Rachman, Financial Times

Europe’s tallest-to-be tower burns in Moscow IRTNews (hat tip Lambert)

Netanyahu’s ‘King David’ Complex Consortium News

Australia will target US workers Sydney Morning Herald (hat tip reader May S)

Faber: Japanese stocks will outperform as US margins deteriorate Edward Harrison

Supreme Court Ruling Allows Strip-Searches for Any Offense New York Times. Wow, was my desire to become an expat correct. Too bad the plan didn’t work out.

Women voters surge to Obama Financial Times

Supreme Court Rules Strip Searches Okay Even for Those Arrested for Minor Offenses David Dayen, Firedoglake

Scalia Believes Innocent People Can Be Executed, So He’s Not Going to Care About People Dying From Not Having Health Insurance BuzzFlash

Obama Warns High Court Wall Street Journal. Huh?

To Fix America’s Education Bureaucracy, We Need to Destroy It Atlantic (hat tip reader May S)

Someone You Love: Coming to a Gulag Near You Chris Hedges (hat tip reader Thomas R)

Treasury’s Ridiculous Defense of their Second Lien Policies Dave Dayen, Firedoglake

Royal Bank of Canada Accused of Massive Unlawful Trading Scheme Wall Street Journal

GE takes $1bn risk in bringing jobs home Financial Times

Female CFOs in U.S. Paid Less Than Men, Study Finds Bloomberg. This is news? The interesting bit, if memory serves me correctly, is the % of underpayment is in line with the underpayment of women generally.

Banks in spotlight over board composition Financial Times

Choices Shrink for Subprime Set Wall Street Journal

Occupy Groups Reimagine The Bank NPR

Investors Buying Up Foreclosures by the Thousands New York Times. The analyses assume flipping in 3-5 years at modest profits on purchase, which leads to decent overall returns if you believe the assumptions. Have none of these guys heard about the chain of title problems in foreclosures? The banks must be delighted to have found a rich bunch of greater fools.

JOBS Act Jeopardizes Safety Net for Investors Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times. So why not a peep from him before the vote on the bill? It’s too late for this to be useful, and he can’t not know that.

Foreclosure reforms to widen Washington Post. Better version: Administration keen to rope more firms into the photo op.

An Altogether Different Reality Michael Panzner

McKenna: JP Morgan Chase Knew MF Global ‘All Too Well Jesse

Senior citizens continue to bear burden of student loans Washington Post (hat tip Lambert). Holy moley.

Antidote du jour:

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  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    If you are arrested for some minor thing like being naked publicly, this means they can strip search you.

    1. tom allen

      What an odd world, where nudists like me are leading the crusade against strip searches.

      On second thought, it’s not odd at all. I like being naked. I just don’t want the government demanding it of me without my consent.

    2. Dave of Maryland

      In his memoir, Papillon, by Henri Charrière (1970) he tells of his experiences at Devil’s Island, in French Guyana, one of the most notorious prisons in the world at the time.

      According to Henri, prisoners commonly placed valuables in small “eggs”, which were inserted in the anus, to avoid prison searches. Prison guards knew of the eggs, but would not forcibly remove them. They would put prisoners in solitary until the were excreted. Henri says a determined prisoner could out wait the guards, as this form of solitary never went on longer than two weeks.

      America, where anyone can be arrested on whim, is such a better country than a lowly French prison. Spread those cheeks!

      1. John L

        Captain Koons: “The way your dad looked at it, this watch was your birthright. He’d be damned if any slopes gonna put their greasy yellow hands on his boy’s birthright, so he hid it, in the one place he knew he could hide something: his ass. Five long years, he wore this watch up his ass. Then when he died of dysentery, he gave me the watch. I hid this uncomfortable piece of metal up my ass for two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. And now, little man, I give the watch to you.”

  2. Maximilien

    Re: Supreme Court and strip searches

    The Supreme Conjurers cook up another 5-4 right-leaning decision! Do they ever look at the facts or the relevant law and then objectively decide?

    Btw, Important case coming up: Is “breaking-on-the-wheel” cruel and unusual punishment?

    Veteran court-watchers say that Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Scalia, and Kennedy have already decided that it’s not. They’re currently busy making up their reasons.

    1. LucyLulu

      “Do they ever look at the facts or the relevant law and then objectively decide?”

      Short answer, “No”.

      Longer and more complete answer, “No”.

      I heard Kennedy wavered a bit on that wheel decision before casting his vote with the Feudal Five….. or is it Futile Five?

    2. LucyLulu

      Perhaps we could cut the deficit by eliminating SCOTUS and declaring all cases 5-4 decisions? How long before anybody would notice? Or would they?

      1. alex

        You can’t eliminate SCOTUS entirely. You’ll still need a few clerks to write the opinions. The “justices” themselves can be replaced by animatronics – the Disney version of SCOTUS.

        1. ambrit

          Dear alex;
          How did you guess? We here at the Underground Kingdom perfected the animatronic replacement method way back in the early eighties after a certain R.R. slipped completely into Senile Dementia. We did such a good job, ‘it’ was even re-elected! (Oops. I’ve said too much.)

          1. alex

            “Oops. I’ve said too much.”

            Don’t flatter yourself – everybody’s known that for years.

            P.S. You could also have done a better job making Dick Cheney look life-like.

          2. ambrit

            Dear alex;
            Re. Dick Cheney: Don’t blame us, that unit was produced by Howard Hughes outfit.
            Re. “Don’t flatter yourself.”: Too true. We’re still trying to lure away the team that produced the organic model presently occupying the White House.

          3. LucyLulu

            Ambrit, my dear chap,

            I think you need to go ahead and do a replacement model for Mittens Romney. You forgot to add the dash of empathy and humanity to the current model. Us Americans don’t appreciate that dry sense of humor that those with the blood of nobility such as yourself do.

          4. alex


            They’ve done a wonderful job with Mitt. What you don’t realize is that his role is to make the candidate from the other party look like a populist. Considering who the candidate from the other party is, they obviously had no choice but to make Mitt pretty extreme.

    3. Neo-Realist

      “Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Scalia, and Kennedy”

      The Fascist Five.

      Re: Strip Search, it’s the kind of ruling for African Americans and other dark skinned Americans that creates a kind of a defacto Jim Crow law: Now damn near anybody walking or driving while black or brown can at the discretion of a racist cop can be strip searched for any little perceived infraction.

      If I get the nerve to emigrate–I’d prefer Canada–No Baseball in Europe.

  3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    I don’t know if it’s safe with those nuclear drones.

    It’s better we go with solar drones or wind drones.

    But if you really want something that will survive the first attack by the bad guys, I think the way to go is drone cockroaches or cockroach drones.

    1. Jim3981

      No doubt in 10-20 years there will robotic drones, ground based cameras, microchips, and a cashless society that will make some of the sci-fi movies seem mild.

      Imagine commiting a crime in the future, and how the arrest investigation and arrest might place….. Some cyber cop pulls up a street level surveillance video, tracks the criminal by a masonic chip, turns off his digital money, and then sends a robotic aerial drone to capture him up off the street….


      1. Jim A

        And yet the few Wall Street shenanigains that haven’t been decriminalized will be unprosecuted.

        1. wunsacon

          My prediction is that SkyNet will exist to protect the 1%’s “property rights”.

          1. ambrit

            Dear wunsacon;
            Don’t forget the Third Law of Bureaucracy. Any bureaucratic “entity” will eventually incorporate ‘self preservation’ and ‘replication’ as its’ primary functions.

      2. aet

        If “crime” = intentionally or recklessly harming others, then such people deserve no breaks: the full weight of tech ought to be set upon them to expose their actions and to bring them to justice.

        BUT….If “crime” = not obeying commands given by “superiors” (that is, by politicians), without needing more than simple disobedience to such commands to constitute a “crime” (for example, without needing a separate consideration of how just those orders are):…well, that is not even ‘crime’, really – more the use of a false or over-broad definition of ‘crime’ (not now harming others intentionally, but simply not following orders) to encompass what is more accurately termed the formal regulation of personal behaviour which falls short of that which inflicts, or may inflict, harm on or to others by means of government decree – and any “high-tech” that would be used to enforce THOSE decreees or commands, those regulating harmless behaviour – is simply a new kind of more-efficient dictatorship, and their use by Governments, must be resisted and restrained – and ultimately disused, if people are to be, or to remain, or to become, personally free.

        If for example the politicians – the Government – banned the practise of a specific religion, the practise of which in no way harms others – would the practise of such religion be therefore and for that reason alone – that the Govenrment had outlawed it – a “criminal” act? But what if the Constitution of the USA were different, and did NOT protect religious practises?

        What if the Government outlawed the wearing of red socks, under some criminal penalty : would wearing red socks be a “crime” then? Would such a law be constitutional under the US Constitution? Why not?

        If there were a lack of explicit protection for the freedom of religious practises in ANY state’s Constitution, would that fact alone, in combination with a decree from the legislature or King, be sufficient to transform what was a harmless religious practise into a criminal act?

        Be careful, you legalists!

        For the US Constitution does not create, it merely recognizes.

        Whether or not a dictatorship – or Government – using “high-tech methods” to enforce its orders (or as the Government would say, “to fight crime”) may keep an entire NATION “free” is a wholly other – and different – question. Perhaps such tactics could keep it “free” – for instance, free from the influence of other nations.

        But a dictatorship or Government, using such means – in secrecy or otherwise – to enforce its commands to the population to refrain from harmless behaviour of which the Government nevertheless “disapproves”, could – and perhaps inevitably would – destroy personal freedom. No two ways about that! (That is to say, the wholesale use of these methods could certainly serve to keep the Government “free” – from suffering from ANY effective domestic opposition to ANY of its policies whatsoever!)

      3. Jim Haygood

        ‘Wow, was my desire to become an expat correct. Too bad the plan didn’t work out.’ — YS

        Might be worth a second or even third try, considering how butt-ugly the U.S. police state is getting. This is an election year, so our overlords are on good behavior. But in 2013, they can crack down to their heart’s content, and probably will.

        A few weeks ago I was visiting Uruguay. It’s a sleepy place, half the population of N.J. — not my cup of tea exactly. But the Uruguayan cops aren’t going to slam you against the wall and strip search you for jaywalking, either. Last time I checked, one needs to prove income of only US$500 monthly to qualify for Uruguayan residency. Apuntame!

          1. ambrit

            Dear omyheck;
            My wifes’ nephews say areas of central Mexico are beginning to look like little “Norte Autonomous Regions.”

  4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    It was with profound sadness I read an article today about humans using fire as far back as a million years ago, some 300,000 years earlier than previously thought, after the discovery at a cave in South Africa.

    Some may find a sense of pride, but I feel sad – we have been using fire for 1 million years and we still can’t handle it safely. That’s sad.

    Imagine other dangerous human inventions – like the wheel, the internal combustion engine or GM corn.

    1. ambrit

      Dear MLTPB;
      We still haven’t even read the operating instructions of our first and still best tool, our brains.

  5. Jim3981

    “Investors Buying Up Foreclosures by the Thousands”

    Does anybody know if the investors buying all these homes are getting to view and purchase the properties before the banks put them on MLS for the general public consumption?

    1. ambrit

      Dear jim3981;
      Considering the present and likely to continue ‘negative interest rate’ status of most investments available to the general public, taking a flier on housing isn’t such an outrageous bet. Mr. Strethers’ comment lends a strong support to the old saying, “The House always wins.” Besides, it’s tradition, don’t you know?

    2. Walter Wit Man

      Nah. If there is any damage they will just take it out of the tenants’ security deposit.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Oh, I see what you are saying. Are the investors cherry picking the best properties while the banks release the other homes to the general public?

        I wouldn’t be surprised if there is collusion going on in the industry some how. I’ve long suspected there is some grand plan as far as managing the housing stock.

        Maybe the new “investors” are somewhat related to the old investors and they are buying these properties at a premium to prop up the market by limiting the number of houses for sale to the general public. They also may not lose that much money because now they can rent out these houses.

  6. Max424

    “Lord Wolfson, a Tory peer, has offered a prize of £250,000 for the best plan to break up the single European currency.”

    250 thousand pounds? Hey, that’s almost the exact sum I need to buy a seat on Richard Branson’s intergalactic sex shuttle.

    Ok, here’s the plan. Eurozone, keep the Euro, as an inter & intra continental currency of convenience.

    Meanwhile, allow all your currently hung-by-the-balls peripherals to re-coin their old monies. This noosed-testicle list would include just about everybody; with possible exception of the Bundesrepublik Deutschland Uber Alles.

    The Uber Als would undoubtedly prefer to have every nut-strung undercountry stick with the status quo, but f-ck em, who are they? The Master Race?

    Besides, Germany and German volk, allowing the individual nations the ability to print, within your zone of ultra-dominance, would probably be a good thing for you. I mean, what good is it economically ruling a continent, if the economy of that continent is in a perpetual state of ubertailspin?

    See, problem solved. Now, where do I buy those space seats, at the Heavenly Playmates in the Heavens ticket counter?

    1. Hugh

      The Uber-al, I like it. Probably what the Euro should have been called if there had been more truth in advertising.

  7. LucyLulu

    Duh, Obama has the advantage with women voters. Romney doesn’t come across as having any gender bias but he has been contaminated with the Republican “barefoot and pregnant” branding. They can try to say the contraceptive issue is about religious freedom but its hardly persuasive when they’ve focused on defunding Planned Parenthood and instituting invasive testing with abortions since the time they took control of legislatures. Add to that the voice of Rush Limbaugh with his degrading remarks about women who use contraception and gasp, enjoy sex, and thinks this grants him the right to watch. What’s more amazing is that any women at all would be willing to vote for somebody like Santorum……whose had his wife speaking out more on his behalf. Does anybody see her as helping his case? Or do others see her as timid and mousy, too? (And she was an attorney, no less.) Though as a stay-at-home mom with seven kids, she’s doing well if she is still sane.

    1. Dave of Maryland

      Today is primary day in Maryland. Yesterday there were three robo calls and one actual person, urging me to vote, but for what I don’t know.

      The election itself is repulsive and hostile. I am not certain I can force myself to go.

      1. No.

        Hey, Africans are not too proud to boycott rigged, futile elections. If no party represents you, if elections don’t reflect the free will of the electors as required by universal democratic standards, Why vote? Wait for a parallel government to emerge. The state we have is beyond repair, rotten to the core.

        1. ambrit

          Dear No.;
          The overarching problem here is that the Rightists look to be working towards an absolute, and stable, police state. Then anyone can and will be a ‘person of interest.’

        2. No means No.

          Right. And your vote has no bearing on that overarching problem. Now that we know Change means accelerated destruction of rights and rule of law, we can stop wasting time and energy with electoral politics.

    2. ohmyheck

      Not just Republican barefoot-and-pregnant, but Mormon barefoot-and-pregnant. Double-whammy.

  8. René

    “Consciousness has been left at the door.”
    – Michael Tsarion.

    “The world is all the richer for having a devil in it, so long as we keep our foot upon his neck.” – William James.

    “Like the Gutenberg Press before it, the Internet Reformation is undermining the established myths that Western elites have concocted in their efforts to create a New World Order. We like to think that the Daily Bell is one modest example.” – The Daily Bell.

    1. R2P for UnMe

      It’s easy enough to cut through the polarized contention of Conspiracy! Attack! Conspiracy! Attack! Conspiracy! Attack! Who cares? Either way, 9/11 was a colossal failure to protect that undermines the sovereignty and legitimacy of the state. Like two other colossal failures to protect, Katrina and Deepwater Horizon, the state asked for it, begged for it, and was helpless to deal with the painfully obvious consequences. In each case, at some level, disaster paid off for the state: thanks to 9/11, the state got away with two acts of aggression; Katrina gave the state an opportunity for ethnic cleansing and authoritarian electoral redistricting; and elite impunity and repression in response to Deepwater Horizon ingratiated BP and their capos at Goldman Sachs. Whether they meant to fck up or not, the US is a failed state.

  9. Tampa Bum

    Richard Clarke, heading up a “cybersecurity consultancy”, in a breathless article written by an obvious know-nothing, posits that we are woefully unprepared for cyber warfare. I’m stunned.

    1. ohmyheck

      Stunned? In what way? Plenty of people have heard of Stuxnet. I’m stunned to find the term “Stuxnet” right here on NC. I am also stunned that someone with some Elite Cred, like Richard Ckarke, is actually talking about it, not just some tin-foiler.

      Have you got factual information to debate Mr. Clarke’s assertions, or is this simply your emotional opinion?

      1. R2D2

        Iran is going about their nuclear program the wrong way. All they need to do is develop a worm to take control of US and Israeli nuclear missle silos. Or Russian ones if they want to be sneaky.

        Call it WhatNext, or something.

      2. Walter Wit Man

        Richard Clarke is a perp–and that’s my informed speculation. He’s a disinformation agent. Of course it’s near impossible to prove this because if it’s true he would never admit it and it would be almost impossible for outsiders to gain proof.

        So our best tool is using logic to analyze the known facts.

        And for me the most interesting fact is that Clarke is an alleged whistleblower regarding Saudi involvement in 9/11. There is a documentary that is evidently being held up by the CIA because Clarke and the filmmakers reveal too much. Yeah right. As if Clarke would say things U.S. intelligence didn’t want him to say. Clarke’s role was to provide cover for the perps by blaming the Saudis and Israelis (and Pakistanis). Because I am convinced 9/11 was an “inside job” I can’t see any innocent explanation for Clarke’s participation in this documentary.

        There was another subject area where Clarke did the same thing and I had the same suspicions but I’m drawing a blank on that subject now. Clarke has been very active lately and he screams perp to me.

        I’m also dubious of the claims of cyper attacks because I also consider Anonymous to be a perp organization–the U.S. is faking attacks against it and hyping all threats including cyber threats like those of Anonymous. Again, we don’t have a ton of proof other than some circumstantial evidence (one of the main guys supposedly turning state’s evidence, as well as other government ties to the org). Basic logic also indicates Anonymous is controlled opposition (like doing DNS on the FBI or CIA websites or publishing contact info for family members of police to intimidate them).

  10. aletheia33

    should i be glad our blogger didn’t make her escape from our hallowed shores and lived on to regale, inform, enlighten, and inspire us here?

    1. Dave of Maryland

      What Yves isn’t telling us, what no one is telling us, is that an increasing number of Americans are fleeing the country. Just as Germans fled Germany in the 1930’s, and for the same exact reasons.

      For half a century we had this cheap excuse, that Good Germans Would Have Done Something. Now we know the reason they did not. They did not have the power.

      In Germany there was still cash money that could not be traced. Phones that ordinarily were not tapped. No GPS-laced iPhones to track you. No secret cameras in the street to record every move. It was so much easier then, hey, why didn’t the Good Germans rebel?

      Fuck with the police and they will strip search you. If you’re young and cute they will then rape you.

      So where are all the Americans going? Canada? Australia? Russia? New Zealand? Keep it a secret, or the target countries will ban us.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Or if not ban you, refuse to open a bank account for you, once they spot that damning blue yanqui passport:

        Foreign financial institutions are already turning away American clients. “We have become toxic citizens,” says American Citizens Abroad founder Andy Sundberg.

        Due to FATCA, a U.S. citizen abroad is now seen as a significant legal and financial risk. An increasing number of U.S. businesses and citizens abroad are finding it significantly more difficult to open foreign bank accounts and get insurance coverage.

        Practically speaking, banks in OECD rich countries are moving to comply with FATCA, while some developing countries are taking more of a wait-and-see approach, since they are lower on the U.S. hit list.

        FATCA is a significant de facto hurdle to expatriation, and it doesn’t take full effect until 2013. Draw your own conclusions …

        1. LucyLulu

          What about the free trade agreement with Panama? Didn’t they provide reassurances that they are discreet and will provide banking services for anybody?

      2. What Me Worry?

        “or the target countries will ban us.”

        Methinks they will turn us into a profit center. A constant source of bribes for our residency.

    2. John L

      “Australia targeting US workers”. She gets a second chance if she has construction skills. (Would miss her though.)

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Yes, I wondering if I can persuade the authorities that I know how to drive an earth mover.

      2. Skippy

        Yanks as wage arb… Mon Dieu!

        Skippy… Yves chilling at a country pub after a hard days yacka….. knocking a few back…. paying 5 bucks for the chook raffle or meat tray… from a topless local gal… ohhhhh….. glorious…. methinks.

  11. wunsacon

    >> To Fix America’s Education Bureaucracy, We Need to Destroy It Atlantic (hat tip reader May S)

    That’s what Republican-minded “leadership” chose to do in Iraq…

      1. wunsacon

        Right, I do not forget that either.

        Because while the propertarians applaud *corporations* for maximizing return-on-investment (i.e., charge as much as the market will bear) they condemn *people* for the same goal.

      2. evodevo

        Exactly. Where in the whole article were problems with the unions detailed? Nowhere. This guy just threw that in with the rest of the pile, and that alone tells me his agenda. As an educator for many years, I have run into almost all the bureaucratic crap he lists, and then some, but I notice that he doesn’t mention problems with helicopter parents, disaffected apathetic parents, children with chaotic dysfunctional households, economic dislocation and a host of others I could name. In the comment section for the article there are a few who attempt to defend charter schools/”privatization”?, but I’m not going there – there are several studies that shoot that bird down.
        My personal theory is too much TV/video games, but then they were saying that when I was a tad. So, who knows.

  12. gatopeich

    Re: “Breast cancer screens leads to ‘unnecessary treatment’”

    The issue of over-screening and over-medicalization, has been obvious to me for many years, since I realized socio-economical reasons pre vale over Health (and my dear arse was in the mire of some expensive medical artefact).

    Only recently I am not looked at as a paranoid as often for saying things like “WTF cancer screening you are 25!!!”

    I know humanity regains sanity only one-by-one, but it sucks to be in the first 50%!

    1. gatopeich

      BTW, and that’s also why I never contribute money to the “fight against cancer”.
      That, and having lived in Boston and perceived the amount of highly paid pharma employs in such fight. They, of all, don’t need charity.

    2. alex

      “socio-economical reasons pre vale over Health”

      Which socio-economic reasons? One interesting thing about this study is that it was done on women in Norway – a country where, unlike the US, healthcare is generally not a for-profit industry. So, much as I am opposed to healthcare for profit, it’s clear that profit motives are not the only reason for over-screening and over-medicalization. Sometimes mistakes are made in good faith, and additional study and research is necessary to weed them out. If you’re old enough, you may remember when a kid having their tonsils removed was common. Now it’s quite rare.

      1. dearieme

        “it’s clear that profit motives are not the only reason for over-screening and over-medicalization”: true – sometimes it’s because a disease has been politicised e.g. by feminists.

        1. John L

          Hmmm. Masculinists didn’t politicize PSA screening and it has the same problem.

          Credit the rise of evidence based medicine and the data and analysis tools that make it possible.

          1. Worked in hospitals too long

            Also target “liability fear” — a socioeconomic phenomenon, and “standards of care” that requires physicians not only to do certain things under certain circumstances (like prescribing only those meds “approved” under “standard of care”), and prevents them from making other suggestions like recommending “untested or unproven” rememdies like folk remedies or vitamins, that are not proven because there is no profit in doing the research……….

            don’t get me started……

          2. John L

            I hear you WIHTL. Best I can do is find a sympathetic physician, explain how I plan to handle PSA, colonoscopies, blood pressure, cholesterol meds, diet and exercise, and have her not contradict me.

  13. Brent Musburger Jr. (news anchor)

    Breaking news! This Just In!

    Authorities say that mad cow disease is spreading among the human population!

    Details: US authorities claim that mad cow disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (meaning sick brain) or BSE, is spreading among 99 percent of the US population, thus making the US population a terrorist threat to authorities representing the 1 percent.

    The Supreme Court has ruled 9 to 0 that getting infected with BSE is illegal, therefore police will begin strip searching presumptive criminals on the subways and streets. Once naked, police will draw blood or remove samples of brain tissue in order to test for BSE.

    Getting strip searched or tested for BSE will be proof in itself (and “a posteriori”) that the person cannot be innocent.

    Another anti-terrorist action being debated by authorities is to kill the entire US population as a precautionary measure, and God will recognize his own…..

    Story developing….

    1. Fiesty

      Iran planning put Ammonia Hydroxide in water supply.

      Keep enemy alive so all turn into mad cows!

  14. Bartelby

    My plan to expatriate was thwarted by filial piety, goddammit. Plan B looks to be forcible overthrow.

  15. b.

    “Have none of these guys heard about the chain of title problems in foreclosures? The banks must be delighted to have found a rich bunch of greater fools.”

    Depends on the size of the fools. If these are corporations or billionaires that buy “by the thoussands”, then possession will be 99% of the law, and the government will find a way to “efficiently” resolve chain of title issues in favor of those Too Invested Too Fail.

    The real issue is whether the big fools will be able to find thousands of little fools willing *and able* to buy those “investments” according to schedule. If the burbs are a dead end, if the 99% are too poor to get a mortgage, if the government cannot re-inflate the housing bubble, then it does not matter who owns the property when it gets bulldozed.

    Or maybe the idea is to hold on to those hollow shells and titles waiting for money, Flint/Detroit-style, to shut down entire city blocks so that bankrupt cities can save on extending services to vacant blocks?

  16. Hugh

    Re The Time Bomb No One Can Defuse, not sure what the point of it was. If Europe keeps the euro, it’s headed to depression, as we are currently witnessing, and if the euro gets dumped in an uncontrolled fashion, depression will result. Dumping the euro in a controlled fashion is not in the cards.

    I think the whole discussion has been framed incorrectly. As I have written in the past, Europe doesn’t have a euro problem rather it has 6 inter-related problems of which the euro is merely the outward manifestation:

    1) Lack of a democratic fiscal and debt union
    2) An insolvent and predatory bank sector
    3) A weak central bank
    4) Mercantilist trade patterns
    5) A corrupt political class
    6) Kleptocrats calling the shots

    The “euro” crisis is never going to be resolved until all 6 of these problems are addressed and solved.

  17. Raymond Sim

    Wow! The return of the atomic airplane!

    I thought that if there was one dumb idea that was for damn sure dead and gone that was it.

    1. Hugh

      That is just because you have been indoctrinated into believing that radiation is bad for you. /s

      1. Raymond Sim

        Well yeah, that too.

        But I was thinking more of the gold-plated diamond encrusted skycruiser thing.

        It’s hard to believe it’s not an April Fools hoax. But of course there are other kinds of fools.

  18. Hugh

    Re the education story, it appears in The Atlantic so is it any surprise that it is nothing more than neoliberal claptrap?

    I am all for teachers just being allowed to teach but then the author shows the real agenda at play in using it as a hook to go after unions. I mean seriously how can teachers be free to teach if they have don’t have someone or something (a union) watching their backs?

    It reminds me of Right to Work bills. Ostensibly they are for the benefit of workers, but in reality they are just ways to strip workers of protections and allow employers to depress wages and eliminate benefits.

  19. abelenkpe

    There is a home on my way to work that has sat empty since January 2007. It’s gone on and off the market a couple of times over the years and was recently bought by an investor who plans to rent it out. Thing is rents are not going up in our neighborhood and home prices are still quite high so good luck to that particular investor!

  20. ginnie nyc

    Re: Seniors paying student loans – that could’ve been me, except I dropped out after the first year of grad school, so it only took me 15 years to pay back one year’s tuition. Even after I became permanently disabled I had to somehow pay- both seniors and the disabled cannot liquidate school debt.

    And of course, public assistance does not consider such debt in calculating a benefits budget. Why you have $300 left at the end of every month – um, no, the Supreme Court said I have to give it to the banks.


    Supreme Court decision December 2005, James Lockhart vs. United States

    1. Walter Wit Man

      9 to zip.

      The justices may disagree on some things, but they do not waver in their support for our corporate overlords.

  21. Lupe Schiff

    Thanks Bill, personally I cant get enough of Schiff mainly because he talks straight and doesnt fudge anything. I think hes right about the direction of the US dollar and of the gold price. He thinks that the US is taking the banana republic option of printing its problems away but he does not think that Capitalism is broke as he advises his clients to invest in Asia where Capitalism is working. My real problem is that I think his economics are inflexable ie theres never a time to defict spend, or to run an inflationary monetary policy. He’s stuck with the Austrian mantra of government bad, government bad and thats why he will remain as an entertaining sideline act in an age where governments play a major role in the economy. On Schiff’s blog I liked his stuff about the paradoxical fear rallies of the US dollar.

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