Links 5/15/12

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Rattlesnake bites man in Wal-Mart BBC

Spider guitar dazzles with style and sound (w/ Video) PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Restoring sight with wireless implants Nature

Horrific Injuries Linked to BP Dispersant Corexit RSN (martha r)

Power to the professors: A bold, new way to fund research begins at U-Michigan PhysOrg (Chuck L)

The “other reportables” oil mystery FT Alphaville (Pilkington)

Greek deadlock heightens fears of full European economic crisis Washington Post

Will the Greek exit be voluntary or involuntary? Edward Harrison

On ABC Radio National, PM program: ‘Stupendously idiotic’ policies for Greece can’t work. Yanis Varoufakis

Contagion Fears Hit Markets Wall Street Journal

Faith fades in eurozone firewall Financial Times

Is China entering a debt deflation? MacroBusiness

World edges closer to deflationary slump as money contracts in China Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

China ‘raises Australia-US ties’ BBC

Obama’s Switch on Same-Sex Marriage Stirs Skepticism New York Times. I am sure Lambert will pick this up but this is a needed reality check on all the effusive praise.


LightSquared Files Bankruptcy After Network Blocked Bloomberg (scraping_by)

Police-Occupy Stand Off at the Gill Tract Farmland in SF Bay Area AlterNet (martha r)

Red Flags Said to Go Unheeded by Chase Bosses New York Times

In Washington, Mixed Messages Over Tighter Rules for Wall St. New York Times

JPMorgan Said to Weigh Bonus Clawbacks After Loss Bloomberg. While this move certainly appears warranted, it simultaneously is clearly an effort to shift blame away from Dimon. But the CEO, both managerially and legally (via Sarbanes Oxley certifications) is responsible for the adequacy of controls.

KC Man Sues Bank Over Foreclosure Error KMBC (Lisa Epstein)

* * *
D – 116 and counting. *
Document the atrocities! –Eschaton

Dimon London Whale Fiacso. Obama on ABC’s The View: “We don’t know all the details. It’s going to be investigated but this is why we passed Wall street Reform”. Ben Smith, Politico, last graf: “[I]t would help Obama’s reelection campaign if Schneiderman gets around to the more glamorous work of putting people in handcuffs sometime in the next six months”. From The Department of Fat Chance, or trial balloon?

Robama vs. Obomney. Robama campaign’s new ad paints Obomney as “a job-killing economic ‘vampire’”. Obomney counters: “Nyah, nyah, Steel Dynamics!” American Future Fund runs ad: “Obama voted for the Wall Street bailout”. Well, Obomney is a vampire, and Robama did vote for the bailout. They’re both right! Meanwhile, Rattner sides with Bain, calls Robama ad “unfair”. “This is part of capitalism, this is part of life”. Bottom line: “A day in which the news media cover Bain instead of the unemployment rate is a good day for Obama, no matter what exactly Romney did while he was there”.

Robama. Speech at Barnard graduation: “What young generations have done before should give you hope. Young folks who marched and mobilized and stood up and sat in… I want you to know that I will be right there with you”. Gag. New and heavily redacted DHS documents: “Did the White House Direct the Police Crackdown on Occupy?”

Obomney. “Romney’s life characterized by little-told stories of generosity”. Squee! First story I read on a news operation (not just an app) built for the iPad (“The Daily”) and it’s a puff piece.

R Inside Baseball. CrossRoads SuperPAC: “[L]everaging the roughly 250,000 student-members of the College Republicans who span more than 1,800 campuses across the country” (College Republicans).

D Inside Baseball. Four frustrated Senators file suit against the Senate to abolish the filibuster (the logic, via Ezra Klein). Huh? Article 1, Section 5: “Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings”. Also, too, the administration could have used the nuclear option in 2009. Obama had a mandate, remember? Toobin on Roberts Court and Citizens United; how money became speech. Weird that Obama operatives never bring CItizens United up in the “ZOMG! The Supreme Court!” talking point. Maybe because Obama uses just as much of all that lovely money as anyone else?

Ron Paul. “Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process”. But not, like, campaign. Fundraising dried up. Charles Pierce: “He’s not the Jerry Rubin of 2012. He’s going to sell them out. The only question now is for how high a price”.

Elizabeth Warren. London Whale is oxygen for Warren. She calls for Dimon to step down from the NY Fed, restoration of Glass-Steagall (which Ron Paul opposed abolishing). Na ga happen: “If Warren and Paul did a joint ‘break up the banks’ press conference, it sure would generate a tidal wave of support and just might change the world of banking”. Why not break the banks up? Why not put the executives in jail for fraud? Off the table!

WI (swing state). National Ds won’t give WI Ds a paltry $500K for vital GOTV (“boutonniere money”). “Considering that Scott Walker has already spent $30 million and we’re even in the polls, this is a winnable race. We can get outspent two to one or five to one. We can’t get spent 20 to one”. D Barrett: “Let us once again be a state where we can talk to our relatives, where we can talk to our co-workers, where we can talk to our neighbors about politics without it being a bitter fight. That’s our Wisconsin”. Not sure that message will resonate with the Capitol Occupiers. But they’ve got no place to go.

MI (Swing State). Travails of reporters: “[P]eople will be interviewed with the light and camera and be thinking ‘I’m on TV’ — they change totally. But I come up to the same person with my little [radio] mic, and it’s a totally different thing. I get really honest, interesting opinions on, for example, if a foreclosure policy will really be helpful to them.” Interesting foreclosure is the first story that springs to mind.

NV (Swing State). D Oceguera running for (NV-3) won’t say whether he supports ObamaCare or not. On TV! “I’m trying to look forward”. “Forward” being the one-word Obama campaign slogan…

CO (Swing State). Loveland, Fort Collins consider fracking ban due to blowout concern.

NC. David Parker, “besieged” state D Party chair, said Saturday that he would remain in his post after the party’s ruling committee voted not to accept his resignation. “The move came despite an effort by party leaders including Gov. Bev Perdue, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Walter Dalton, key state elected leaders, the national party, and the White House to ease Parker out.” On to the Convention!

Green Party. National: Barr and Stein debate in SF (video): “Obama and Romney describe the bank bailouts as a painful necessity; Stein and Barr describe it as an unparalleled heist by the 1% and say it’s time to nationalize the Federal Reserve and to cancel student loan debt”. CT: Melissa Schlag, State Senate District 33, petitions to get on the ballot. Schlag is credited with playing a vital role in opposing the Haddam Land Swap. NY: Izvestia actually covers a Green candidate, Colin “No Impact” Beavan, NY-10: “What’s going to sort us out is all of us deciding that we’re responsible for the culture that we live in”.

Libertarian Party. Lawsuit challenges VA ballot access law.

Occupy. The Occupy National Gathering will take place in Philadelphia from June 30th to July 4th 2012. While activities will take place around the city our main hub will be on Independence Mall. Awesome.

* 116 days ’til the Democratic National Convention ends with deep-fried turkey dinner and all the trimmings on the floor of Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. Cross-posted to Corrente. Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments.

READERS: Again, here are the swing states: AZ, CO, FL, IA, MI, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA and WI. I’m very interested in any local or state links you can send me from those states; original reporting, not wire services stuff. Now I have help with CO thanks to MR, but there are more!

* * *

Antidote du jour:

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  1. dearieme

    “London Whale is oxygen for Warren. She calls for Dimon to step down from the NY Fed, restoration of Glass-Steagall… “: yup, she’s got her tomahawk out.

  2. vlade

    I’d be interested to know whether Dimon in his self-flagelation exercise didn’t impeach himself (and others) on SarbOx. After all, SarbOx doesn’t allow for stupidity, sloppinses etc. – it just says officers of the company are responsible.

    Anyone owning JPM shares willing to start class action on that?

  3. DP

    Regarding Obama’s reason for suddenly endorsing gay marriage, the NYT reports on public skepticism but the reporters simply report poll findings and a couple of comments from people polled instead of providing any reasons why people should be skeptical.

    I’m sure Obama’s gay marriage endorsement couldn’t have anything to do with this, from a May 2 New York Times article:

    “Obama’s finance team had already realized that if Wall Street was going to give less — potentially far less — than last time, other constituencies would have to give more. Hollywood, a reliable source of Democratic campaign cash, was looming larger in Obama’s fund-raising calculations. So were tech entrepreneurs and gay donors.”

    Now how could Obama possibly go about opening the wallets of gay donors wider?????

    1. EH

      Jeez, I have to wonder whether Obama is going to make overtures to non-banker contributors as a foundation for doing something about the bankers.

  4. Ned Ludd

    The drama continues in Greece.

    As last ditch efforts to form a coalition government continued, the leader of the anti-memorandum party Independent Greeks, Panos Kammenos captured intense media attention.

    Kammenos had reportedly sent a letter to President Karolos Papoulias saying that in the event of an immediate national emergency, he could support [with a tolerance vote, at least] a coalition government.

    But later, Kammenos said the document was forged, even though the presidency insisted otherwise.

    Athens News has a live blog of today’s developments.

  5. Dave of Maryland

    I gave up reading Lambert’s links after the Ooobama Roobama stuff. Lambert, I simply do not understand a word of it and as the days go on I simply feel that it’s a private game and that you’re talking past me.

    Yves blog can in fact be ruined.

    1. Up the Ante

      It may be a response to many Comments regular viewers never see, as in edited out.

      Lots of clowns out in internet land like to pose as figures of one sort or another, variously threaten liabilities, impersonate, etc.

      It may be a response to the Donate button.

    2. Cocomaan

      I’d rather Lambert stuck to Yves’ link format, as I also find it difficult to read. There is good information in there, though, like the occupy national gathering.

      1. Ned Ludd

        I had no idea that their was occupy news buried in there. I think that demonstrates your point that the format makes it hard to find useful information.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Ned, Cocomaan: Don’t the subheads work as categories? There’s Occupy stuff in there as shown by the subhead.

          I thought people could scan down for categories and then read across for “mini-stories.” (The quotes are often tiny narratives of human courage or delusion or absurdity.)

          There’s Occupy stuff, third party stuff, activism stuff — lots of material that you don’t have to “hold your nose” to support — material that’s not aggregated anywhere else, so far as I can tell.

          1. Ned Ludd

            I think the problem is how much text is highlighted. All the orange drowns out the sub-headings. A simple solution would be to use each link to highlight only a few words or a short phrase in the text. My recollection is that Glenn Greenwald’s articles used to have a lot of anchor text but reduced it over time. Now, his links usually surround particular words or short phrases instead of entire sentences or quotes.

          2. Lambert Strether

            Ned: Ah. I did some of that this time, I’ll do that even more. Ta! (It’s a mental block on my part; Economist’s View uses the link inside the quote idea too.)

    3. chitown2020

      I found out that if it makes no sense its a fraud. That would be everything we were and are told to believe. The defrauding of America began when CONgress unconstitutionality and illegally instituted the FED….U.S. courts have ruled, when fraud enters a contract…..FRAUD VITIATES EVERYTHING…THE FED IS WHY WE ARE HERE….BLAME THE TRAITOR POLITICIANS IN CONGRESS.

    4. Bill the Psychologist

      I agree Lambert, I like your links, but that Obomney Robama stuff has to go. I don’t read when I have to figure out in every headline who’s who.

      I like the links, just make it more legible…..I’m 68…get it?

      1. Lambert Strether

        Like the campaign, things evolve on the fly… As snark, as a meme, it works fine (propagation being the test), but it doesn’t work as a structural element or flag exactly because of the way it works as snark! This time I actually had restricted it a label to an area where they were doing their “distinction without a difference” thing only. Let me see if it works there, the pair with “vs.”

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Lambert, you are doing a great job: thinking, connecting, aggregating in real time, on the fly, day after day/night after night, performing creative work on your feet downstage under the glare of the spotlight and of the footlights, doing your utmost for the good of humanity. Thank you, mille fois merci, grazie infinite.

          With the help of the quibblers, you just might reach perfection on earth. if not, don’t let the comments from peanut gallery get you down. I, for one, like what you’re doing, but then I’m always in the minority.

          Carry on, Maestro!

      2. Up the Ante

        “.. that Obomney Robama stuff has to go. I don’t read when I have to figure out in every headline who’s who. ”

        Exactly. I’ll use Karl’s page to illustrate,

        Since Romney is about equally determined to fix the economy as O, the “stuff” referred to above comes across as someone trying to sell me their identity crisis, lol, and can you guess what subset likes That directed effort ?

        1. Up the Ante

          And, lol, Karl again,

          “.. the only “respect” that any of these candidates or office-holders deserve is an upturned middle finger. ”

          I don’t agree with Karl on everything, but on economic analysis he slams it home. Good work.

    5. Eureka Springs

      I can see how it would be a difficult read if you are determined to vote for either a Republican or Democrat.

      That said.. If I were lambert, I would place all third party news above the O’romen noodling.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Done! (Third party and post- or trans- partisan stuff like fracking. Actions…) I thought people would want ‘the news’ first, but maybe the degree of having tuned out is greater than I thought. (Personally, I take the perspective that a campaign like this could be the last of its kind, because it’s so stylized, and so corrupt.)

        1. Ned Ludd

          Thanks Lambert. After reading too much D vs. R, Obama vs. Romney, my brain just starts to tune out. Consequently, I’d usually get half-way through your compilation before jumping to the comments – and didn’t realize all the good bits were at the end!

        2. maude

          I could personally do without the ‘horse race’ formatted list and the silly candidate naming convention. Why? Because I find it annoying and it is overdone everywhere else. I just skip over it. Too bad, because there may be interesting stuff in there. I choose to form my own opinions without the help of the Robamny/Mobama/Obamny naming convention to help me follow along like a good sheep. It sounds too much like the screeching I hear from the uninformed pundit class. Oh never mind, continue. I will just hrumph and skip over it.

          1. spooz

            I skip it too, but I’m sure others are all over that stuff. I can be educational to identify the propaganda, if nothing else.

          2. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Lambert, ignore the ring of petty intolerance by those who seek to be spoon-fed.

      2. tom allen

        Yeah, I agree. Important stuff first. Horse race second.

        Oh, Lambert’s going to do that. Never mind. :-)

    6. tom allen

      If you don’t like Lambert’s stuff, then just skip it. That’s why it’s separate.

      Granted, I’m a Lambert fan, I get (most of) the inside jokes, and I’m almost always on his side. But if you don’t like him, don’t read him. I mean, nobody forces you to look at the Antidote du jour either.

      This blog seems to be expanding. There will be criticism. There will be praise. There will be silliness. Having been on the internet all its life, I’m actually fairly amused reading the same arguments again in the nth iteration.

      1. Lambert Strether

        No, I don’t think that “just skip it” is an answer (within reason). It’s certainly a change to have this content in here, and NC is a community with its own conventions and its own requirements, and I, as a writer, should be able to display adaptability and make adjustments, as in the order of the links, for example. Also, I, as a guest, should display as much politeness as it is in me to do. Within reason!

        1. Up the Ante

          “Also, I, as a guest, should display as much politeness as it is in me to do. Within reason! ”

          Good, good, this is good.

          In the future when asking for “linky goodness” you will comment on those proffered _and_ contribute some yourself ?


        2. spooz

          I appreciate the subheads. In my experience, anything new on a blog takes some getting used to.
          If I were going to change anything on this blog, it would be the comments system. I prefer being able to edit comments (I am not the best proofreader) and wish I could see the comment I’m replying to while I am forming my reply. Sometimes I cut and paste the whole comment I’m replying to and put it in the reply box, write my reply, and then delete the original comment to compensate.
          I’m glad there is no comments ratings here; hate the popularity contest on other blogs, although I have to admit I do participate occasionally.

    7. BondsOfSteel

      Second on the ‘Ooobama Roobama’ stuff. The name calling… the Ad Hominem attacks are so Rush Limbaugh*.

      It turns me off and I just skip over it.

      *Yes, I’m aware this is meta.

      1. Lambert Strether

        You mean ad hominem like this?

        Vivid and concise characterizations of political figures (like, say “The Great Deceiver”) are a time-honored tradition in American political writing.

        So, sorry, this feels just a little bit like clutching one’s pearls and heading for the fainting couch to me.

        1. ginnie nyc

          I don’t know, Lambert, I like the Robama/Obomoney dichotomy (!) I find it funny, and tracking it requires me to be on my toes when reading. However, apparently not everyone shares my view.

    8. curlydan

      I agree with Dave of Maryland on the election links. They’re too hard to read and I end up skipping them even though there likely is good content. Maybe label them as Obama (Depublican-Wall St) and Romney (Republicrat-Wall St). That’s much less confusing than the current labels and conveys a similar message.

      1. curlydan

        p.s. design is an important part of any website for me, and NC has a good design template. But mixing design styles also makes for difficult reading, so I’d prefer a template similar to Yves’s links.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          curly dan, can’t we allow lambert some experimentation, some whimsy, a little flight of fancy, a little fun?

  6. Tertium Squid

    Rattlesnake in Wal-Mart

    Good heavens: “The purchase was intended for his marijuana plants, which Mr Craig said he was licensed to grow for medical reasons.”

    By the way Lambert, do you want a correspondent in Utah? It’s a swing state between conservative and ultra conservative.

    Bill Clinton came in 3rd there in 1992…

    1. Lambert Strether

      Tertium Squid: YES!

      “outside” political activities (fracking, land use), third party (Green, Libertarian), Occupations, even D or R action if it isn’t pom pom waving or about operatives building the narrative…. This is such a huge country, and “the narrative” of the Presidential horse race is such a narrow filter (one of the morals of the story).

    2. ohmyheck

      @ Tertium Squid—–LOL! I mean, “ohmyheck!” Ya, you’d make a great correspondent from the Land o’ Zion.

  7. Up the Ante

    Wouldn’t this be a wonderful tool for reverse engineering America, or ‘the Nixon handshake’,

    “After the contract is signed and the merchandise is ready to be shipped, some Chinese will ask for further concessions. One European exporter told us he disconnects his phone a couple of days before the merchandise will be shipped. For many Westerners, signing the contract is the conclusion of the negotiation, but for the Chinese it is just one step in the process. The contract is a document of intentions, and if business conditions change they expect changes in the agreement. You have to be patient and build relationships. ”

    Absent respect in that relationship, then it’s the Nixon handshake, or Why did the American people stop respecting Tricky Dick ?

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Up, isn’t this the same as “working out the vigerish” in some quarters?

  8. Eureka Springs

    *** the Democratic National Convention ends with deep-fried turkey dinner and all the trimmings on the floor of Bank of America Stadium***

    Good Gawd, how can the onion top that? It says SO much.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Actually, ES, that’s a running gag. It changes every time. Yesterday it was “… ends with ‘Smores toasted on flaming piles of confetti and straw hats on the floor of…”

  9. Ned Ludd

    Some odd voting in Oklahoma.

    When delegates cast their votes, 256 more voted than were listed as approved delegates.

    Back in 2008, the convention chair in Nevada decided to shut down the state convention in order to sideline Ron Paul delegates. For any progressives who want to effect change through the ballot box – if you successfully challenge established interests by securing enough votes, they’ll simply find a way to make sure your votes don’t count or their votes count more.

  10. Larry Headlund

    ‘Charles Pierce: “He’s not the Jerry Rubin of 2012. He’s going to sell them out. The only question now is for how high a price”.’

    Er, Jerry Rubin did sell out, taking the Yuppie position in “Yippie vs Yuppie” debates with Abbie Hoffman.

  11. Up the Ante

    [here’s your “Gag.”]

    “Before Citigroup, Parsons headed AOL Time Warner, where he helped pull off what is widely considered the single worst business deal in corporate American history: a fraud-rife merger that wiped out $200 billion in shareholder value, ruined employees, retirees and investors, sparked numerous criminal investigations and dozens of lawsuits, and yet somehow managed to enrich a tiny handful of executives—including Dick Parsons—to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. ”

    $200 billion wiped .. for personal gain. Nice. Nice.

    “Why would the government agree to name the AOL Time Warner failure Dick Parsons, Chairman of Citigroup in January 2009, just as the world’s largest banking institution was taking the biggest bailout packages, and just as its legal ownership was taken over by the American public? ”


    Parsons, an S&L control fraudster, to boot

    Isn’t it time for someone to dial up Time Warner, impersonate someone or other, and claim I’ve been spammin’ this website ?? Cueing ..

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Up, follow “magical” DNA — Parsons in Pasadena, OTO, Hubbard, Magog, Scientology, “Top Gun” — willful destruction for 1% DNA profit over generations.

  12. Bill the Psychologist

    There was a story on the Nightly News (I know I know) about Romney tearing up, saying that neighbors of his niece had pooled contributions to help her and her family. I’m forgetting what the financial problems were about.

    Diane Sawyer reported it without question.

    My question: Why does the niece of a multibillionaire need financial contributions from neighbors !!!!?????

    The question should have been asked the candidate directly, I’d love to hear that response.

    1. josep

      If he can’t / won’t help family – what does that say about him helping anyone else? Like the general population of America. Or is it that is just never crosses his mind at all?

    2. Lidia

      Over at the Great Orange Satan, it appears that this treatment of family members of lesser net worth isn’t that uncommon:
      Tonight a young woman came over as my daughter went to her house to help her store her furniture as she is planning a trip to Huntsville to spend several weeks with her dying Viet Nam Vet Daddy. He is dying of brain cancer. He is 63. He and his wife live modestly but somewhat comfortable. I put in a claim and gave information to her on what to do on fast track knowing it is probably too late. I also gave her info for Widows benefits and burial preprations from the VA for a Veteran funeral an benfet entitled to him. Here is the kicker. After I worked all evening on Mothers Day to help this young woman, she tells me in tears that her brother could have helped with this.
      She told me to google his name. I did. This guy was a hot shot and I mean hot shot lawyer in Alabama and a full partner of an upscale law firm. He argued cases at the supreme court. The woman of two teenagers was in the process of being evicted as well and this guy was her brother. The teenage son said, “Uncle Ron is really rich but money has gone to his head and he don’t recognize us as family”. I said, “Does he acknowledge your Grandpa”? He said, Nah, not really. Grandpa don’t have enough money. He don’t have time for anyone but his own kids. He spends time on the golf course and buying more houses and gives his money to some guy named Sessions in government.

      1. J. Sterling

        It sounds like this hotshot lawyer came from a working class family. You sometimes hear these characters dining out on their “roots” and acting as though they have special insights. They’re often worse than the born rich, because for them, the narrative of hard work bringing wealth and lack of wealth being nothing more than laziness feels like their actual experience. They made it, why can’t those losers? “I’ve got poor relatives” becomes the class equivalent of some of my best friends are jewish: not an opportunity to show a bit of tolerance, but instead a personal license not to.

        Then the trading on background persists for a generation or two, as the rich children dine out on having working class grandparents, and the grandparents feed them poisonous theories about the lazy poor. I almost prefer the always-been-rich.

        1. F. Beard

          I almost prefer the always-been-rich. J. Sterling

          Good points and I suppose that explains the attraction to royalty and why we love to spoil our pets – somebody needs to be beyond petty concerns so the rest of us can enjoy it vicariously?

          1. ohmyheck

            Sorry, I could tell you a personal, first-person story of the always-been-rich, as in 7th generation Big Pharma trustfunders, who are no different. They are very nice, just don’t expect them to be even remotely generous, or even to pay their fair share of child-support. I kid you not. Their rationalizations for hoarding every dime is by now mutated into their genes.

  13. barrisj

    Jamie Dimon: “Shit happens already…that’s life”. So, sack the CIO, do some exec chair-shuffling, a brief mea culpa, then announce that “we’re moving on, let’s not look backwards”. Ah, the banksters, you have to love them!

  14. F. Beard

    re Obama’s Switch on Same-Sex Marriage Stirs Skepticism:

    If the man is going to pander for campaign funds then he could do a lot better by supporting a universal bailout and asking the American people for a kickback from it.

    And ironically, a universal bailout is the correct thing to do both morally and economically.

    1. ran

      GW Bush? Clear conscience?

      Why should a blood drenched war criminal ever have a clear conscience?

      1. F. Beard

        Good point but I suppose Bushie justifies his war crimes as war time necessities.

        But this endorsement of a Mormon (sorry TS) shows that he places his politics over his religious beliefs.

        This election should be interesting in a morbid way as more so-called Christians have to choose between their politics and their religion. Hopefully, it will clue the folks in the pews that they are being sold out.

        1. Lidia

          rof. John Boswell, the late Chairman of Yale University’s history department, discovered that in addition to heterosexual marriage ceremonies in ancient Christian church liturgical documents, there were also ceremonies called the “Office of Same-Sex Union” (10th and 11th century), and the “Order for Uniting Two Men” (11th and 12th century).

          These church rites had all the symbols of a heterosexual marriage: the whole community gathered in a church, a blessing of the couple before the altar was conducted with their right hands joined, holy vows were exchanged, a priest officiatied in the taking of the Eucharist and a wedding feast for the guests was celebrated afterwards. These elements all appear in contemporary illustrations of the holy union of the Byzantine Warrior-Emperor, Basil the First (867-886 CE) and his companion John.

          Such same gender Christian sanctified unions also took place in Ireland in the late 12thand/ early 13th century, as the chronicler Gerald of Wales (‘Geraldus Cambrensis’) recorded.

          Same-sex unions in pre-modern Europe list in great detail some same gender ceremonies found in ancient church liturgical documents. One Greek 13th century rite, “Order for Solemn Same-Sex Union”, invoked St. Serge and St. Bacchus, and called on God to “vouchsafe unto these, Thy servants [N and N], the grace to love one another and to abide without hate and not be the cause of scandal all the days of their lives, with the help of the Holy Mother of God, and all Thy saints”. The ceremony concludes: “And they shall kiss the Holy Gospel and each other, and it shall be concluded”.

          Another 14th century Serbian Slavonic “Office of the Same Sex Union”, uniting two men or two women, had the couple lay their right hands on the Gospel while having a crucifix placed in their left hands. After kissing the Gospel, the couple were then required to kiss each other, after which the priest, having raised up the Eucharist, would give them both communion.

          Records of Christian same sex unions have been discovered in such diverse archives as those in the Vatican, in St. Petersburg, in Paris, in Istanbul and in the Sinai, covering a thousand-years from the 8th to the 18th century.

          While homosexuality was technically illegal from late Roman times, homophobic writings didn’t appear in Western Europe until the late 14th century. Even then, church-consecrated same sex unions continued to take place.

          1. F. Beard

            It’s improbable that those unions were sexual ones since the Bible is clear wrt sodomy. But if they were sexual unions then it just confirms my disgust wrt the RCC which holds itself above the Bible rather than under it.

            My own experience with my own sex is that though I have had strong friendships with males, I never wanted to have sex with any of them. Heck, I’ve even had strong crushes on females where sex was not the initial motivation.

          2. Up the Ante

            When Boswell finds the documents on their Family Courts soon I’ll know history does repeat itself.

            Of course, lol.

        2. LucyLulu

          Beard wrote: “But this endorsement of a Mormon (sorry TS) shows that he places his politics over his religious beliefs.

          This election should be interesting in a morbid way as more so-called Christians have to choose between their politics and their religion.”

          Why is religion and politics an either-or proposition? And its usually the very folks who love to talk about Jefferson (a Deist, no less) and the need to return the principles of our founding fathers who have this inability to separate the two. They can’t seem to understand that there is a reason the separation of church and state was placed in the first Amendment. For that matter, many have strange notions in their interpretations of this separation, or like Christine O’Donnell, lack thereof.

          Regarding LGBT relationships, James Lipton of NYMag said it best. “If you’re opposed to same sex marriages, then don’t marry somebody of the same sex.”

    1. chitown2020

      Secret Societiy members have no conscience. Their loyalty is to the order they belong to the NWO. Skull and Bones is a tranche of this order. There are many tranches such as..the Freemasons, the Knights of Malta, the FED, the Central Banks, the media, the CFR, the Bilderberg group, the TRILATERAL COMMISSION, THE VATICAN/WORLD BANK, THE BAR ASS., the G -8, NATO, The World Council of Churches, the World Constitution and Parliament, THE UN to name a few. It is a GLOBALIST ideology and a methodology. It is unconstitutional and illegal. Their power is in what they can make US believe…Their goal…TOTAL CONTROL…It can only be achieved by secrets, and making US believe lies by telling lies, deceit and fraud. They have no souls.

      1. chitown2020

        Their members worship a false idol. Money. They are morally bankrupt and have no souls. That is how they are psychologically controlled by the elite. For the elite it is all about control in order to protect their self appointed power. It is all a mind game theory. It is taught in law schools, business schools, colleges and universities.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      F. Beard, this is how the Bush Dynasty gives orders to underlings: how to vote, how to think, etc.

  15. jsmith

    And while Horserace 2012 gets under way, the empire and its minions march on.

    Clinton pressures India to support sanctions on Iran

    So, Hillary is telling the Indians to cut Iranian oil imports or else our insolvent banks won’t keep doing business with them.


    Oh yeah, she’s also demanding that we allow Wal-Mart to run wild all over the India sub-continent.

    But everyone hates us for our FREEDOM, right?

    I’m sure after the meetings are over and the Yanks are gone, all that’s left to say is:

    Americans, what a bunch of f*ckers.

    1. Ned Ludd

      Last year, Matthew Yglesias wrote about how wonderful it was that Walmart would be coming to India and wiping out “tens of millions of rent seeking middlemen”. If you click the first link in his article, though, you realize that these “rent seeking middlemen” are, in fact, “small shopkeepers” and “millions of mom-and-pop stores”.

      1. F. Beard

        Without the counterfeiting cartel, the banking system, it is quite possible that Wal-Mart would have to pay its workers with common stock and thus “share” the advantages it has wrt to economies of scale.

        We can have large scale capitalism and a much more just society but the banks have to go.

        Who will learn this first? Iceland?

      2. Max424

        That’s my MattY!

        Matt has been consistent on this issue for many years. He loves the idea of enormous central-planning international conglomerates providing super cheapy-cheap consumer goods and services, to every nook and cranny on the planet.

        The inefficient, recalcitrant Mom & Pops of the world stand in the way of global cheapy-cheap progress, and they need to be physically culled.

        Note: The culling process isn’t pretty, either. It would be better if the Mom & Pops would just commit suicide already, like the farmers of India do. It would greatly speed “the Progress” along.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      jsmith, connect dots/DNA: BushCIA, GovClinton, Mena AK, WalMartChina, Hillary.

  16. sunburn

    thank you so much for the green party debate link! i cant believe people dont vote green party.

    I also want to say you’ve rescued me from the libertard hell that is zerohedge!

    1. spooz

      Hey, I’m also a graduate of the fight club. Still fun to go mix it up over there now and again. And libertarian beats either of the duopoly parties for me. Anything that shakes up the status quo.

  17. kevinearick

    Fertility, Currency, & Providence

    Whether from the right or the left of the bipolar axis, of bipolar axes, the call is for first responders and teachers, as replacements for parents. The kids get dumber and less responsible, and the calls get louder.

    Emotional bullying is far worse than physical bullying, because the physical culprit is easily identified, the harm is easily identified, and the repair may be completed in fairly short order relative to emotional scarring. Take a look at any school. The girls are far more ruthless than the boys, but it’s the effeminated males that are capable of the most harm.

    Each class undermines its own. Take a good look at where the Senators from California got the “money” in their bank accounts, what they had before and now. For all the b-ing, Time Magazine, which is a common classroom tool, is the world view of the US for good reason. The mother is the teacher, and that boy is going to grow up to be a cop.

    Regardless of the critter, dignity is integral to life. False dignitaries are the derivatives of false assumptions. Sticks and stones…and dead-beat dads. It’s always the empire villain that pulls the empire from the fire of its own creation, by turning time on its head, at the appropriate time.

    Avoid the path of the bully, through towns of bullies, if you can, but should you find yourself cornered, there is no choice but to fight. Better to mend a broken arm than to cower for life, and the intelligent critter will take advantage of the stage to topple Goliath, over the edge. The Brass is not against homosexuality; it’s against open homosexuality, which unwinds its position. The “big dogs” are not the big dogs they pretend to be. They never are.

    Fertility counseling and drugs are a waste of time in the vast majority of cases. Those closest to nature are the most fertile. Empires are fueled by artificially induced anxiety, and critters have been having babies without medical intervention for quite some time. You want to get the womb hot, which is largely a function of real orgasm, which is largely in the woman’s head. Lifting weights in a gym is counter-productive. Operating a jackhammer is about perseverance, balance, and timing (judgment), not reps. If you want a mate that is unique to you, creating and participating in an artificial competition for mates is pretty damn stupid. Every human being is unique, and you will not find the answer in a book, a bar, or at the YMCA.

    If you check your History again, you will find that the physicians learned to interfere with natural processes for money, unearned income, long ago, to breed stupidity in a self-serving positive feedback loop, as the currency of the realm. Bank leverages it with credited income from derivative credit default swaps, which are synthetic hedges in a multilevel marketing ponzi that does not hedge at the end of the relativity circuit, hence JP Morgan.

    Net present value calculations assume that future generations will be more intelligent than their predecessors, that the empire standard of living will always improve, but it’s a quantum, two step forward, one step back, trial and error process. As a closed, top down system, empire cannot tolerate independent intelligence for obvious reasons, so the latter must be imported, from the relatively open system on the other side of the fulcrum, which the empire specifically rules out of robot existence, by defining the standards of certification. Who comes up with and implements a janitorial certification requiring a State drivers license identity, which is the property of the State? Liberty, we don’t need no stinking liberty.

    As empire participants willingly separate themselves from nature, the empire requirement to pull revenue forward accelerates, to sustain its nonperforming asset base, as does the need to hide the true cost of new family formation in the future, until the tipping point is reached and increasing control results in loss of control, quantum deleveraging. Who “thinks” that Apple, Google, Facebook, and Priceline, advertizing slavery to robots in a collapsing demographic ponzi, is the path to the future?

    The transaction costs in the sovereign circle jerk enabled by the hedge funds are chewing the Fed up, not that it needed ant help devaluing global currencies, which until recently were traded on the assumption of a closed system, governed by a global cop. Hedge funds are like the least intelligent seagulls greedily eating peanuts on the roadway, ignoring the oncoming semi, expecting it to stop. The front end has a spoiler for several reasons.

    Why is it that hedge funds can buy the property you were taxed out of for pennies on the dollar and you cannot “re-buy” that property for different pennies? Frank-Dodd requiring collateral digitally printed and supplied by the Fed is a net 0 adjustment to profit on the relativity number line. That’s why it’s called float. Heads the casino wins, tails you lose, they all fall down.

    -2 and -2 do not add up to 4, but they make 4 when multiplied, and the empire machine cannot tell the difference because it purposefully hides the root operator from itself. That’s the point of marriage, a civil and religious projector. We all do stupid at one time or another, assuming that all parents are stupid. Making the same error until it is not an error is part of the program.

    A derivative representative democracy eliminates the if, leaving only the when, which means that intelligent parents, the minority relied upon, may terminate the constitutional contract at will, as the implicit balance to the corrupting power of the ignorant majority seeking to tax the unborn, to be replicated accordingly. You cannot run 50 laboratories in Democracy with best business practice, common law.

    Selecting a jury is like going to the mall and asking teenagers if it should be legal to text and drive. Of course the attorneys and judge have determined the ruling before the trial. They all belong to the Fraternity of Morons, from the School of No Comprehension. If you can chew gum, you can be a lawyer. If you can chew gum and walk, you are weeded out.

    Government is a criminal enterprise when children are born into poverty to feed it with slaves. Choosing to participate is not intelligent. You must be willing to risk your children to advance the children. That is the story of Abraham, wealth, and NPV. The corporations are always bankrupt, lying both about income and the basis of their ability to project it into the future. Profit and loss, empire defined income, is a function of accounting recognition, not reality, and the rules depend upon the social event horizon class, reinforced at school, robots stealing each other’s lunch in procession. Why can’t you deduct your cost of living?

    The only hedge against the risk of stupidity is intelligence, which the quantitative analytical machine and its derivative emotional robots cannot fathom. You, I, and the other guy bet in favor of different parts of the TBTF closed system, and sell each other insurance against loss, per TBTF rules, guaranteeing taxpayer relief upon system failure. Where is the hedge?

    Don’t stand with the herd in plain sight, waiting for a bullet to the head, unless you are stalking a predator, in a dimension of dimensions built for the occasion, to hit the shooter with his own bullet. Just play along until you have the necessary gravity, at the desired location, leaving the required energy.

    Yes. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, living the ponzi dream.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        They can call its sequel the Vampire Squid, the Whale and the Shark.

        Just leave the Gulper Eel out of it.

      2. mk

        yes, wasn’t that the one shot in two locations, the gulf of mexico and tokyo bay? they used local ocean talent, introduced the newly discovered zombie dolphins… terrifying ’cause it seemed so real!

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Greek exit voluntary or involuntary?

    In general, it’s better to dump than be dumped.

    Most people come to that conclusion by the age of, say, 6 or 7.

    1. Lidia

      I’ve read that exchange elsewhere. What cracked me up about some of the comments was the dewy adherence to “artistic growth”, as though somehow Beethoven had access to more of the earth’s energy than Britney Spears or Damien Hirst. Also, that art appreciation would somehow factor in to a GDP equation.

      1. Praedor

        Worse yet (in my book) is the economist finally getting into the idea that future “growth” and “improvement” could be found online, as in a Matrix-like VR where REAL life may be pretty ugly and grim but so what? People plug into a virtual reality with mansions, wine, women, etc, and THAT would be the measure of future economic “growth”.

        Oh. My. GOD!

      2. ChrisPacific

        There was an article by Philip Pilkington on this blog about a year ago where he discussed the concept of a stable post-growth economy. I’m leery of posting links in comments (even internal ones) as they seem to trigger auto-moderation sometimes, but search on “beyond growth” if you want to find it.

        There is some interesting discussion in the comments. One person pointed out that you can have short to medium term growth nearly all of the time without implying unbounded long term growth if you assume occasional shock-based resets, such as hyperinflation or societal collapse.

        Regardless of how it happens, it seems clear that the global growth trend will eventually become a decline at some point in the future – almost certainly within the next few centuries, and possibly within a few decades. Whether a slow decline or a catastrophic one remains to be seen, but the former would certainly be preferable if possible.

  19. Anon

    British humor at its finest:

    Here is Murdoch’s henchperson Rebekah Brooks, mouthing off outside police station about the “anger” she feels about the charges of perverting the course of justice laid against her and hers today. She is clearly rattled, and makes a few minor grammatical slips in the process of forgetting her lines.

    Right at the end of the clip, off-camera, a voice, reasonable, measured, but undeniably that of a non-Old Etonian, is heard to ask, “Had any messages of support from the Prime Minister?”

    As if to say, “We don’t believe anything you have to say any more.”

    Conrad Black went down for six years for obstructing justice, so did Jeffrey Archer, Jonathan Aitken.

    Mr & Mrs Brooks could be on the verge of joining an illustrious crew.

  20. Hugh

    Just wanted to say the horserace links are a kind of distilled version of the vacuous madness of the Presidential campaigns. The whole point of the use of Robama and Obomney is that the legacy party candidates are indistinguishable, interchangeable, and awful. Robama and Obomney are the modern equivalent of Tweedledum and Tweedledee, fitting really because we really are through the looking glass. If you can’t see any real difference between them, that’s the point.

    We need to keep an eye on both the politics, empty as they are, and the economics, even as they fall apart, because neither is separate from the other. They exist together and determine each other. And more than that, together they give a real taste of the decadence and corruption of our system and its elites. The truth is we are never going to reset the one without resetting the other at the same time. And both require that we sweep away not some of the elites but all of them and along with them the whole system of wealth and privilege which defines them.

  21. LeonovaBalletRusse

    “Power to the professors” — new research funding model at University of Michigan — owes a lot to the innovative thinking of George Soros, developed into the Open Society Foundations and INET.

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