Links 5/2/12

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Apologies for being thin on my own posts over the last few days. I’ve been dealing with a firefight plus doing some research that will hopefully pay off later.

Venus to Appear in Once-In-A-Lifetime Event Science Daily

Humans Still Evolving as Our Brains Shrink LiveScience (Aquifer)

Why You Should Be Worried About the California Mad Cow Case Mother Jones (May S)

We’re half-assing the clean-energy transition Grist (Aquifer)

The huge eruptions of the super-volcano under Yellowstone could be more frequent than scientists thought Daily Mail (May S)

Fracking Regulation: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Global Economic Intersection

German PMI Hits 33 Month Low Clusterstock

In Southern Italy, Fake Euros That Even the Police Admire New York Times

GE Says China Is ‘Hard,’ Aims at Resource Hubs Wall Street Journal. Huh? Getting into Australia when the Aussie is super high at the end of a long commodities boom looks not at all well timed. Plus the Chinese got there first.

Osama bin Laden’s death has had zero impact on America’s security Guardian (May S)

The Administration Is Scared of Its Own Regulatory Shadow Nation

Free the torture report Los Angeles Times (May S)

Save the Post Office: Make up for the drop in physical volume with digital services riverdaughter (Lambert)

Krugman Says Fed ‘Reckless’ to Allow High Jobless Rate Bloomberg. Krugman is right about the Fed being unduly hawkish, but he keeps falling for the “if all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail” fallacy. The Fed can’t do much to help (we need fiscal stimulus and debt restructuring).

Debit Interchange Post-Durbin: Some Early Numbers Adam Levitin, Credit Slips

7 Twitter Accounts Goldman Sachs’ New Social Media Guru Must Follow Time

How Elite Colleges Still Feed Wall St.’s Recruiting Machine New York Times (Aquifer)

Top Judge Makes Free Legal Work Mandatory for Joining State Bar New York Times. Wow, wonder how doing foreclosure defense will mess with the brains of people hired by big Wall Street firms.

Ability-to-Repay Rule for Mortgages Nears CFPB Approval Bloomberg

White powder packages sent to Wells Fargo NYC branches Reuters (Aquifer). Tweets I saw were very skeptical that this was the work of protestors.

“#$#! I Just Got Tear Gassed!” And Other MoJo Tales From Occupy May Day Mother Jones

A Snapshot of Your Security-Industrial Complex zunguzungu

* * *

D – 129 and counting*

This country’s going so far to the right you’re not even going to recognize it. –Attorney General John Mitchell, 1970

Best May Day (Loyalty Day) strike poster: “The Beginning Is Near”. Best Front Page Teaser, Pravda: “May Day protests could disrupt commutes in U.S.”

Robama’s surprise jaunt to Bagram AFB** so, like, totally not “craven politics”, concludes with speech “7:30 New York time and Middle of the Freaking Night Afghanistan time”. The complex, protracted, Rube Goldberg-esque, ObamaCare-like timeline in the agreement with Afghanistan (to be signed at the Chicago NATO campaign event summit) does not specify budget, final troop count, or status of forces. The lawyerly “[b]ut we will not build permanent bases in this country, nor will we be patrolling its cities and mountains” (full text as prepared) when parsed, does not rule out already built bases, new bases built by others, or war from the air with drones (despite post-con call assertion from The Obama 527 Formerly Known As Daily Kos). “Strategic partnership”*** replaces “mission accomplished,” but mission the rhetorical and ideological frame remains. Greenwald tweets: “Combat for at least 2 more yrs plus decade-long commitment ====> Obama ended the war!” Froomkin: “As President Barack Obama was flying into Afghanistan on Air Force One for a few hours of speeches and ceremonies on Tuesday, Sgt. Nicholas Dickhut was flying back in a box.” After wheels-up for the homeland, car bomb shakes Kabul. Don’t let the gate hit you on your way out of the graveyard.

Delusional self-sucking grifter Newt Gingrich runs out the string for one more day. Robama, of Obomney: “Just what you’d expect from a guy with a Swiss Bank Account”. (Post-con call message reinforcement from Kos.) Obomney: Nada; Rove’s gone non-feral. Ron Paul in Alaska and in New England (a “powerhouse”). Americans Elect cancels May 8 primary. Without so much as a press release. And The Lady of Negotiable Affection from Cartagena may get a photo spread.

— Horse race-related tips, links, hate mail to lambert

* 129 days ’til the Democratic National Convention ends with coronation festivities in Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. 129 is a happy number. Are you happy? Cross-posted to Corrente.

** The Bagram torture site is outside Bagram AFB proper, hence not the backdrop for Robama’s speech.

*** The actual document title: “ENDURING STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT.” If it were, they wouldn’t need to say it was.

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Skippy

    Obomnny goes to Afghanistan, must be spring poppy planting season.

    Skippy… Da master always needs to make sure, the start of a season, is blessed. Wonder how many drone strikes it takes evoke the harvest spirits, red mist.

    1. F. Beard

      But drugs for adults must be kept illegal thereby keeping the market price very high and thus very profitable?

      What say ye, Skippy?

      Remember the philosophy in Larry Niven’s “Known Space” toward addictive drugs? That addicts would eventually cull themselves from the gene pool?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Is that some kind of neoliberal principle applicable to giving space to fraud-addicted banksters so they can cull themselves from the gene pool?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            For those who do harm others, let’s treat banksters the way you would treat them.

  2. YankeeFrank

    Not related to today’s news, at least not directly, but yesterday NPR, which is a thoroughgoing propaganda outlet, as NC readers know, had a piece on a guy who got all these people to commit fraud to help him save his business. NPR were asking why it was so easy for him to get people who wouldn’t benefit at all from the fraud to help him. The reason they came up with, aided by some psychologists, was that people want to help each other, and don’t see the acts as fraud when it is framed as aiding a fellow human. That makes sense. But it got me thinking about the fraud that NPR dare not name — the massive mortgage loan securitization fraud committed by the banks — the banksters were not motivated by anything other than pure greed. They weren’t helping anybody. It could be argued that the mortgage originators and brokers were helping people purchase houses they wanted and so the fraud was less apparent to them (I’m not arguing that, but it could be somewhat plausibly argued). But in the case of the investment banks purchasing and packaging these garbage loans — they knew the loans were garbage, and knew they were selling trash to their clients. They just didn’t care. The fraud in the NPR story was about a guy trying to save his business from bankruptcy. The mortgage securitization fraud was nothing but greed on a massive scale. Just like the Enron traders that knew they were ripping off poor old people and actually relished the deed, the banksters on Wall Street knew what they were doing and who they were doing it to and not only didn’t they care, but they took pleasure in “ripping the faces off” their clients.

    Of course NPR would never focus on those frauds, but they are much more malignant and destructive than anything this guy did to save his business. In fact, the only real “victims” were the banks that he conned into giving him loans. And given that they manufacture that money out of thin air and write it off when a loan defaults (assuming they even kept the loans on their books) there was really no actual victim from a moral standpoint. I’m not saying he was right (I’m not saying he was wrong either — if we all did this we could tank the criminal banks once and for all ;), but in the end his crime is much more understandable, and much less destructive, than the frauds NPR and their ilk continue to studiously ignore. And yet the moral tone they took with this guy was so condescending and syrupy while every damn day they “report” on the economy without even a wag of the finger at the bankster class that destroyed our economy. I despise NPR. :)

    1. taunger

      Well, I can certainly see how the bankers would think that it was helping people. The CEO, COO, CFO, MD in each dept., their exec. assts. (okay, maybe not them) etc., all needed a big payday. What’s a little fraud to ensure your entire foursome gets a 7 figure bonus?

    2. ambrit

      Dear YF;
      I sadly agree and add the bit that around here, since the NPR took all that money from Widow Kroc, I like to refer to the afternoon ‘news’ show as the McNews.

      1. just me

        Leave Joan alone!

        Also funded:
        University of Notre Dame’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies
        Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice
        Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies
        St. Vincent de Paul Joan Kroc Center for the Homeless
        Kroc-Copley Animal Shelter
        Salvation Armies, hospices, Ronald McDonald charities and houses, etc etc

        Kroc was also active politically. In 1985, she spent millions of dollars in support of nuclear disarmament, which included reprinting the book Missile Envy by Helen Caldicott, as well as publishing ads in major newspapers calling for disarmament. In response, Cal Thomas, a conservative syndicated columnist, called her a “McNut.”[3]

        She is affectionately known by the citizens of Grand Forks, North Dakota and East Grand Forks, Minnesota as the “Angel” because of her anonymous $15 million donation to assist the cities after a devastating flood occurred there in 1997. She was revealed as the source of the funds when reporters tracked down ownership of the jet she used to fly into the area to survey damage.[4]

    3. Clinteastwood

      Democrats are quick to yell about the little people dummies being allowed to vote for their elected representatives even if they’re so incompetent they can’t come up with a photo ID. But when these same dummies are roped into a mortgage they can’t afford, it’s the evil bankers fault, not Bawney Fwank’s, Franklin Raines’ Fannie, or the Community Investment Act. After all, they meant well. Liberals are people who can’t think straight. No, that’s wrong and superficial. Liberalism is a mental disorder.

      1. a crude interest

        You’re comparing voter suppression laws with the biggest con job in history? Maybe you should just concentrate on listening to Rush and watching Fox.

        And btw, you might ask yourself how many shots have been fired. Five………..or six?

      2. Binky Bear

        Sadly it has been demonstrated repeatedly that conservatives cannot think period. There are things they think they know to be true that are demonstrably, immutably false; but not to swear they are true is treason to the tribe. Unemployment? Lazy niclangs and mexiclangs won’t work, cut the welfare and food stamps (which overwhelmingly go to white people). Budget issues? Cut the handouts to the niclangs and foreigners but don’t cut defense because that gold plated fighter bomber is the only thing keeping the Arabs and Russians away. Limbaugh’s “how things ought to be” is their bible making Me Firstism and White Powerism the first two commandments.
        Conservatives are fact free and reason free and by God they are happy that way and have the guns and the will to eliminate anyone who tries to make them come down to earth.

        1. Clinteastwood


          You’re stuck in the left-right, conservative-liberal paradigm. Who said anything positive about Rush Limbaugh? He’s a tool.

          The simple fact is there are 540 or so people in Washington DC who are TOTALLY responsible for the way things are. TOTALLY responsible. Not the bankers, not those on Wall St., not the lobbyists, NO. The CONgress, President Zero, Bernankster, and a majority on the Supreme Court. If these less than 1% were forced to live by the same laws they provide for all the rest of us 99.99999%ers, we wouldn’t have the problems we have today (Social Security, Medicare, bailouts, deficits, declining dollar, unconstitutionalisms up the ying-yang, etc.).

          You get absolutely nowhere blaming the wrong people. The people who elected these clowns, who can’t even come up with a picture ID, are getting exactly the government they deserve, good and hard.

      3. chitown2020

        Clint ….don’t blame the victims….it wasn’t the American people who gave the BAD QUALITY LOANS when they qualified for better….the banks gave those ALTA-A and ARMS with exploding interest rates.. etc…remember the courts have ruled that. “Deception is evaluated from the perspective of an unsophisticated consumer.” Professor Wiiliam Black stated it was the banks who put the word LIAR into the LIARS LOANS..It wasn’t the people who bought homes they could not afford…that was just 20% and not enough risk to collapse the economy as Max Keiser reported. It was the banks who created too many risky loans and bundled them up as mbs’ s and the ratings agencies rated them AAA. Good as gold when they were in fact fraudulent securities
        and debt bombs. The politicians like Barney Frank did push this fraudulent activity and are therefore traitors. The whole mortgage fraud plan was created in the backrooms of CONgress.

        1. chitown2020

          What caused the crash was that the banks could no longer pay their debts they created by overselling interests in the notes hundreds of times per note. An attorney discovered his clients note was sold 607 times. Their debt is a massive quadrillion dollars in derivatives fraud and can never be repaid. The mortgages are insolvent. The fraudulent mbs ‘s are not worth the paper they are printed on. The banks had no collateral backing up those sales…they committed exponential collateral mortgage fraud to the tune of 700 trillion dollars. They were all insured to the hilt on the risk they created….I blame the traitor politicians. Starting with the Clinton adm. Who repealed Glass -Steagall and created the mortgage casino on Wall Street. They all got fat off of our set up and robbery…and still are.

          1. Clinteastwood

            The simple fact is there are 540 or so people in Washington DC who are TOTALLY responsible for the way things are. TOTALLY responsible.

          2. YankeeFrank

            Saying it don’t make it so Clint. Even saying it IN CAPS don’t make it so.

            Sure congress is venal and corrupt. But they are what’s known in criminal justice circles as accessories. They enable the fraud but its the banksters that commit the fraud. Sure they commit crimes too — graft and acceptance of bribes by public officials is a crime. But to lay the blame solely on congress is to let the actual perps off. Do you really want to let the perps walk?

            Oh, and its not democrats who insist on picture ids for voters. I’m no democrat, but it seems to me the democrats see the masses as somewhat helpless and easy dupes, and frame their rhetoric that way. The republicans don’t say the masses are dupes and fools because they are too wily — they puff them up with praise and ennobling words while scamming them and stealing their wallets. Who is worse? You be the judge.

    4. Frank

      A subtext of the story is that getting your car properly smogged is “helping to save the planet”…

      NPR is funded by Oil company advertising and the nuclear power industry as well as the grand daddy of them all,
      the Pew Charitable Trust which is funded by Big Coal.

      NPR=National Petroleum Radio.

      If you want real alternative radio, I suggest
      Democracy Now or if you can stomach the forced package deal of all the other causes that are tacked on such as “immigrant rights”and the plight of transgender teenagers in Upper Volta…

  3. Eureka Springs

    Hey those Blackwater folks or police are wearing masks… I hope everyone from Lambert to Hedges spends months shaming them for it! /s Also looks like the county got robbed by the used truck dealer… the truck looks like a late 70’s model Ford Bronco recently pimped out by a meth head in an Idaho chop shop. Surely the people of Bahrain, I mean Oakland were pointing and laughing their socks off yesterday.

    1. Lambert Strether

      I’m pleased that you have something to look forward to, ES; I do what I can to help Occupy succeed.

      The farce in Cleveland leads me to pose the question: Are all violence advocates stupid, or only some of them? [To be clear, we should have solidarity with the poor schlubs the FBI entrapped because they’re human and their situation is full of pathos. And for that reason alone.]

          1. YankeeFrank

            Apparently, just like antitrust laws, anti-entrapment laws seem to have gone by the wayside.

  4. Steve Roberts

    per Krugman, how does higher inflation help employment exactly? Higher inflation will eventually solve some problems, not sure how it produces jobs.

    1. F. Beard

      Second that!

      The US Government is the obvious choice for a risk-free fiat storage and transaction service that makes no loans and pays no interest. Post Offices would make fine branch locations.

      And once the public has a safe place to keep its fiat then government deposit insurance, the Fed and all other privileges for the banks should be abolished.

      Banks are gambling institutions; government should rather discourage them.

  5. Binyam Mohamed's corkscrew erection

    In a sick and twisted way, the focus on illegal torture of foreign devils comes in handy for our torture state. It distracts us pretty deftly from the review of the Committee Against Torture, which examines the whole national superstructure of institutionalized state torture.

    Because, who are we kidding, this police state tortures hundreds of prisoners of conscience here at home for every hapless wog they cripple overseas. Bradley Manning, Chelsea Elliot, Andrew Meyer &c. &c., they wipe their ass with Article 16. The CAT report is going to show the world a paramilitary junta that thinks they don’t need legitimacy any more because they’ve got torture and inhuman degradation going for them. The state is losing interest in the pretense of democracy at home. But it’s always fun to watch them try and keep up appearances for the neighbors.

    1. Synopticist

      Poor little doe-ey eyed Binyam Mohamed was a hardcore al qeada activist.
      Reserve your sympathy for those genuine prisoners of conscience who deserve it.

  6. Anonymous Jones

    I just don’t understand these comments sometimes. Is it me, or has Krugman argued for fiscal stimulus, publicly, in print, like three or four dozen times (no, I have gone back and counted)?

    Yeah, I think he’s wrong about the idea of inflation targeting, but what the hell do I know about it? I hear a lot of theory (“it’s so obvious in theory that Krugman’s wrong!”*); I don’t see a lot of compelling empirical evidence one way or another.

    He has said, specifically, that the only reason he discusses the finer points of his monetary policy strategy is because he doesn’t think stimulus is in the cards. I mean, what is he supposed to do, not talk about what he thinks is a second best option because he should only focus on the first best option that has no chance of occurring (even though, of course, he still does, you know, actually talk about that option as being first best)?

    Should I only attempt to woo supermodels? I mean, if all the other women are not as good (in theory), then my crazy desire to be with the “second best” is just pathetic, right? Why would I even consider it? If I can’t have sex with a supermodel, sex with someone merely pretty would really just not be worth it, I guess.

    In any event, it’s one thing to criticize Krugman’s inflation targeting. It’s another thing to completely and totally misconstrue his writing and say that everything looks like a nail to him because all he has is a hammer when in fact he says there’s a screwdriver in the tool box but the f*cking general contractor won’t let him get to it.

    *In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is. [h/t Yogi Berra]

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    One of my many wishes is that as we humans continue to evolve (the Creation work is never done – that
    means you work 7days a week, both Saturday and Sunday), our mouths will get smaller.

    How many times have you heard the complaint ‘you and your big mouth?’

    It’s so obvious our mouths are too big.

    1. Aquifer

      I love it! Hopefully they were organic donuts, we don’t really want to poison them, do we? :) Also, what kind of donuts do cops like best?

      But do you have a link to this picture itself? I am too digitally challenged to figure out how to extract it, and i would like to share it … (I do know how to copy and paste links ;))

      1. Up the Ante

        Don’t know where Lambert got it, but normally you Right Click, go to Properties and get the picture’s address.

    2. F. Beard

      But why donuts? LS

      Shirley you jest!

      Cops and donuts are a cliché, at least in the US.

      You’re not a foreign spy are you?

      Who won the 1946 World Series? Hmm?

    3. Susan the other

      Attract them with sugar, the thing they love… it calls the whole question, How do we snare the banksters? Attract them with money, the thing they love … but how do we win out?

      1. F. Beard

        How do we snare the banksters? Susan the other

        There is no need. Banks are parasites that REQUIRE government privileges. Eliminate those privileges and they must “wither away”.

      2. chitown2020

        The hidden hand is in CONgress and the Senate. That is where the traitors are hiding. They tell the FED and the pres what to do. The enemies are disguised as politicians. They blame Obama and the FED for what they tell him to do. They are all agents for the World Bank don’t get me wrong. That is where the orders originate. They could have never pulled this heist off though without their agents working from within. Anyone hear that the real dictator is the new mayor of Chicago..? Everything is not what it seems.

        1. chitown2020

          I think I found Caeser carrying out orders for Rome. Maybe Capital one will give me a reward.

        1. F. Beard

          We be slow, sometimes.

          Besides, we don’t all live in NYC, if you [I was tempted to pun but thought better of it!] know what I mean.

    4. Up the Ante

      Note their feigned disinterest in their heart’s desire, poised to strike any second.

    5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It will be sad if I alone know this mystery – WE ARE ALL DONUTS!!!

  8. briansays

    orange typically male tabby
    best most amazing cat i’ve ever owned
    loving and friendly
    to all except the vet
    then its glove and net time
    yet extremely self confident to the point of being a willful rascal at times
    totally a boy
    prefers drinking off faucets to bowls
    not at all intimidated by dog walkers once he sees the leash to approach and remind them its his territory
    will find him at times atop kitchen cabinets and closest shelves looking very smug
    16 years old going on 4-5 years

    1. Klassy!

      ooohh, my orange tabby is one of the most loving kitties I’ve ever had. 16 also.

  9. Aquifer

    Ah, yes, the answer as to why we are increasingly screwing up – shrinking brains. Hmmm, and all this time I thought Neanderthals were more “primitive”; but maybe that’s the key, the more “civilized” we got, the more our brains shrank …

    And with the advent of computers, “evolution” can shrink our brains even more – who needs a brain?

    1. Susan the other

      Thought: when a battery has too much water it dilutes electrolytes and signals. Why Neanders would function over the eons with big brains might be over-hydration, but I doubt it. They probably needed the excess to survive and we replaced the excess with a supportive social structure. Our dry little brains might be sending the quickest, meanest sparks ever. And even scarier, the sparks might not have any connection to reality.

    2. reslez

      Maybe it’s because agriculture and pastoralism resulted in higher disease levels and poorer diets. That would cause humans to become physically shorter — as we know really did happen historically. Smaller-hipped women might have died more frequently in childbirth for babies with larger skulls.

      One way to support this hypothesis would be to check whether women in countries with better diets are taller, and if brain sizes of infants in those countries has begun to increase. Also supportive would be an increase in brain size in countries that have modern obstetrics.

      1. punchnrun

        Most likely, like dogs, areas of the brain concerned with physical senses like smell and hearing have not been preserved. That which is not critically needed tends to degrade and disappear — like eyes on cave dwellers.

        It is birds which have which incentive (evolutionary pressure) to reduce weight and improve efficiency. Some neurologists are now theorizing that at least some birds seem smarter than the weight and physiology of their brains would indicate based on mammalian metrics such as weight, volume and surface area. Ie they do not have folds to increase the surface area and thus grey-matter regions. They are instead organized somewhat differently. They still exhibit great flexibility, for example in learning songs and even in some cases in fabricating special-purpose tools (New Caledonian crow).

  10. Hugh

    Obama’s Afghanistan should be taken as a tribute to George Orwell. The country, even Republicans, don’t think the Afghanistan war was worth. Obama, listening to this sentiment, has acquiesced to their demands by committing to a continuation of the war to 2024.

    Along similar lines, it is a gross calumny to say that Hitler ever invaded the USSR. He didn’t. Remember the two countries had signed a non-aggression pact. He was merely engaging in a strategic partnership with it. Indeed the USSR was so grateful for this that a few years later they returned the favor taking their own strategic partnership all the way to Berlin.

    Ain’t history grand? All we have to do is view it through the proper lens.

    1. Hugh

      Let me try that again:

      Obama’s Afghanistan speech should be taken as a tribute to George Orwell. The country, even Republicans, doesn’t think the Afghanistan war was worth it. Obama, listening to this sentiment, has acquiesced to its demands by committing to a continuation of the war to 2024.

      Along similar lines, it is a gross calumny to say that Hitler ever invaded the USSR. He didn’t. Remember the two countries had signed a non-aggression pact. He was merely engaging in a strategic partnership with it. Indeed the USSR was so grateful for this that a few years later they returned the favor taking their own strategic partnership with Germany all the way to Berlin.

      Ain’t history grand? All we have to do is view it through the proper lens. In other news, up is down and Obama is a progressive, heck even a socialist.

  11. Walter Wit Man

    Barack Obama, the fascist war criminal occupying the White House, can take his “loyalty day” proclamation and eat it.

    Fuck him and fuck his propaganda.

    I guess he is “asking us what we can do for our country” when he should be using May Day to stand up for the people against the fascist oligarchy that has taken this country over.

    Barack Obama is a traitor and should be impeached and prosecuted for his war crimes. Who is he to talk about loyalty?

  12. jsmith

    Re the Obama story:

    The propaganda never ceases.

    Here is a fine example how the chimerical OBL story – in all of its facetious 9/11 glory – is slipped into stories about the WOT terror so as to whitewash the past.

    Um, if we’re REALLY going to discuss OBL and our disastrous wars and how we arrived at where we are today, then we necessarily need to speak to the events of 9/11 which – like the OBL assassination story – officially leaves much to be desired as concerns reality and common sense.

    Again, much like how whitewashing of the financial crisis pisses Yves off to no end, I personally cannot stand and whitewashing of 9/11 and all aspects of the WOT.

    Whenever one sees a story written by ANYONE analyzing anything in the MSM, one should immediately understand that they are being propagandized.

    I mean, does the author of the article think that the laughable 19 hijacker story validates our disastrous wars but only the OBL assassination story does not?

    I’m sure he does.

    Does the 19 hijacker fairy tale validate our loss of liberty and rights?

    I sure it does for the author.

    Does the 19 hijacker fairy tale validate the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people?

    You bet.

    So, when presented with an “analysis” that takes as its premise the validation of one fairy tale over another please try to remember that they are BOTH fairy tales.

  13. Aquifer

    The article on the Post Office was good – thanx!

    Methinks it is an under covered story – as another attack on the public sphere similar to those on SS and Medicare.

    The mail has become such an assumed part of our lives that, like water, we don’t recognize its worth until it is gone …

  14. mk

    just saw Carne Ross on the Colbert Report, he said he was working with an Occupy group re: alternative banking, said the group is working on an alternative bank, looking for partners.

    I hope this bank will be something national that I can join. Still haven’t moved my money, would love to join this alternative bank.

    Anyone know when this bank could possibly come to fruition?

        1. F. Beard

          Usury is only part of the problem. “Credit” is essentially new money. In a government enforced monopoly money supply for private debts, credit creation steals purchasing power from all other money holders.

          Now if banks issued their own common stock as money, the ethical problems go away. However in that case it is unlikely that people would want to borrow common stock money since it could be difficult or even impossible to repay with interest (short squeeze). So the “banks” would likely just spend their new common stock into existence.

          Common stock is an ideal, ethical private money and would perfectly compliment fiat spent into existence without borrowing.

          1) Common stock as money requires no borrowing or lending. Assets and labor would simply be bought with new stock issue. Thus no PMs, usury, or fractional reserves are required. This is a huge benefit since PMs, usury (see Deuteronomy 23:19-20) and fractional reserves are all problematic.
          2) All price inflation is born by the owners of the corporation since every receiver of the new common stock money is by definition a part owner of the corporation. This is an important moral consideration.
          3) Since all money holders are part owners of the corporation then they could vote on how much new money is issued and for what purposes. Thus price inflation is under the control of only those affected by it.
          4) The assets of a corporation are typically performing assets though PMs could easily be accommodated too for dealing with primitives.
          5) Common stock as money shares wealth at the same times as it consolidates it for purposes of economies of scale. Labor problems should be non-existent since the workers would be paid in common stock and thus be part owners. The number of those with a stake in capitalism would increase. The need and desire for socialism should decrease.

          One would think Occupy would be interested in “sharing” wealth and power.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            How should teachers be paid – with common stock shares in the high school he/she workss at?

            How about city hall workers? A little extra ownership of the city government?

          2. F. Beard

            Government workers would be paid with fiat. Most private workers would insist on fiat too UNLESS the fiat was exceptionally poorly managed by say using it to bailout banks.

            For a private money to be accepted would require that it be exceptionally well managed relative to fiat which has the natural advantage of being the only means to pay taxes.

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Most private workers would insist on fiat too UNLESS the fiat was exceptionally poorly managed by say using it to bailout banks.


            That’s what you should focus on – make sure the fiat is not exceptionally poorly managed.

          4. F. Beard

            That’s what you should focus on – make sure the fiat is not exceptionally poorly managed. MLTPB

            That’s why private currencies should be allowed – it’s called a balance – and why the government should let the banks “wither away” if not outright ban credit creation.

          5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            You are not going to improve the military by having competition from privately contracted Blackwater corporate mercenaries.

          6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            And please repeat the below as often as you can:

            Most private workers would insist on fiat too UNLESS the fiat was exceptionally poorly managed by say using it to bailout banks.

          7. F. Beard

            Well, in addition to bailing out the banks, the fiat could be wasted by say building windmills all over the place or some equivalent idea such as Mao’s backyard blast furnaces.

          8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That’s what you should focus on – make sure the fiat is not exceptionally poorly managed.

  15. F. Beard

    re “We’re half-assing the clean-energy transition”:

    I remember when CO2 was declared a pollutant and I was incensed that a gas as essential to plants as oxygen is to animals was so designated.

    CO2 is clean. It results from the perfect combustion of carbon and oxygen. Plants love it.

    “How can one be “green”
    and yet to plants be mean?

    They simply cannot do
    without their CO2.”

    Oh, and where is MLTPB on this? Afraid to speak up on behalf of the vegetable kingdom?

    1. tom allen

      Depending on how many plants you cut down compared to how many you burn as fuel. Hence the overall increase in global warming over the last several centuries.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I apologize for being a few hours late in commenting on this topic.

      Yes, that should be construed as being afraid to speak up.

      I think the problem here is as tom mentioned, we have too much CO2 and the plants can’t digest them all.

      Similarly, too much oxygen is bad for you.

      As usual, balance is the key…a little vegetables here and some meat there, as long as both are organic, you should be fine.

      By the way, here is something for you to fear (justifiably) – I agree with you (I hope that is the case) that this is a cool website.

  16. kevinearick

    Cave Culture: Derivatives Solving Derivative Problems

    The many that need Pharma contraception and enhancement so they can continue “thinking” with their prick or vagina and want to continue building testaments to their behavior at the Young Mens Christian Association swimming hole, as an example to the other children manufactured by civil marriage, guided by StatsCanada, and seek to tax the rest of us for the privilege, can go f- themselves, and, oh by the way, we build the arsenal at the root of military power, which we may deploy or not at will, which is why their trillion dollar contraption is now getting kicked out of Afghanistan by a handful of cave dwellers, on their payroll, as an example of their impotence for the entire world to see. Keep using someone else’s measuring stick and wondering why the solution is ineffective.

    That’s it; some government prick buys a big truck with big wheels to bully vaginas in small cars, and those vaginas idolize their uniformity, until they are all driving behemoth clunkers owned by the government and bitch up and down about $4 gas, selling pot for “organic” money instead of staples. Then move to the city, kill helpless babies, parade on Main Street in lingerie, fight sexual assault, and laugh at Bible thumping shysters competing with hedge funds to liquidate pension funds. Aim low, but be just a little bit better than the primordial ooze you choose to surround yourself with is the mantra.

    Congress is locked up, Administration is locked up, Bank is locked up, and Supreme Court is now finding out that it was locked up before this iteration began. Harvard, the best of the best of the best. Go ahead; flip us off as you drive by in your defunct Hummer, but did you bother to notice the Alice backpack or the officer cut?

    Tell me again why we should defend your constitution, when the Salvation Army is a prison at the end of a road built by the United Way, and serviced by the Red Cross. Any German can recognize a lying Crusader before he opens his mouth, but keep making those donations on your eye phone, by all possible means, like your Homeland Security depends upon it. Stand in line at the trough and expect something other than tyranny.

    Trust the Shell empire; the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Consumer electronics is definitely the answer. You told Obama what was going to happen to the price of oil, you voted for him, it happened, and you are pissed off. Logic we can believe in. Go ahead; put your money on stupid again.

  17. scraping_by

    Bye Bye Newt. I liked the comment in earlier times, that the four main candidates were representatives of the four main segments of the Republican Party: Romney for corporate slavery, Paul for Libertarian batshit crazy, Santorum for God-Is-Hate Christianity, and Gingrich for institutionalized corruption. The moral of The Story is that all creeps have had their say, and are now to get behind the pretty rich guy.

    While getting them to the voting booth is irrelevant since the advent of electronic voting machines, it’s important the R’s stay deluded they’re the beneficiaries of the process instead of its target. This is the segment of the American population that provides the most reliable worker bees, cops, soldiers, finks, spies, bullies, fronts, and shit spreaders. If they get alienated, the elite’s supply of lackeys is threatened. Or, at least, able to bid up the price. Right now they oppress their neighbors for dirt cheap.

    1. F. Beard

      The moral of The Story is that all creeps have had their say, and are now to get behind the pretty rich guy. scraping_by

      Not without compromising their Christian beliefs (assuming they have any).

      Serious Christians DO NOT consider Mormonism a Christian sect (Sorry TS, you seem like a nice guy but there is only One God – the Trinity).

      It should be interesting to see if politics trump belief.

      1. reslez

        there is only One God – the Trinity

        LOL. You do realize that many religious traditions classify you as polytheistic, right?

          1. scraping_by

            Before, after, and all other time words are meaningless when describing an infinite God. Hard to wrap the head around alternatives, but that’s Theology for ya. And why I quit studying it.

          2. F. Beard

            Before, after, and all other time words are meaningless when describing an infinite God. scraping_by

            The Bible does not teach God is infinite.

      2. scraping_by

        It’s true the Mormons had the biggest departure from Catholic Christology between the Aronists and the Jesus Seminar, and that’s always been one of their best selling points and hardest sticking points when they go out and do missions.

        The only real question is, Can we live side by side? As a general thing, most people can’t point to Mormons as the cause of the troubles in their lives. On the other, most people don’t live side by side with Mormons, that they know of. If they wear a uniform (except for missionaries) it’s too subtle for the rest of us to catch on.

        The real danger are from those who say “Christ” and mean the elitist control of a totalitarian society with Puritanism for the disempowered masses and a wall of wealth behind which they can follow whatever appetites they happen to have. The old Moral Majority Bait and Switch. God’s Bullies, in a book title. Mormons, you know you’re getting an entirely different story.

  18. Klassy!

    I did not understnad all the vitriol directed at the writer of the Guardian piece on the politicization of the execution of OBL.

  19. Maximilien

    Re: Obama and Afghanistan


    Good gawd, which overpaid and underworked bureaucrat(s) came up with this label? It sounds like exactly what it is: a bad marriage. “Yeah, Ethel n’ me, we weren’t happy in our marriage but we endured it.”

  20. SH

    I found an old paperback (“Hidden History” by Daniel J. Borrstin) from college and decided to read it before I swap it online and all I’m left with is this.

    Surprisingly, the essay on psuedo events actually had an impact on me. It makes me wonder.

    I think it’s relevant still.

Comments are closed.