Links 6/18/12

Wearable device generates electricity from walking knee movements Gizmag

Black bears show counting skills BBC. My cat clearly has some counting ability. He gets 4 vitamins daily and he notices when I give him less than that number.

On being an alpha female mathbabe. As readers may have inferred, I’m not into genderism. Nevertheless, I’ll add: don’t worry about being nice.

Government ignored U.S. radiation monitoring data in days after 3/11 Asahi Shimbun

China property price falls ease MacroBusiness

Message to the BBC and assorted international media on this Greek Election Day: Try to recover your journalistic principles even at the eleventh hour! Yanis Varoufakis

Greece as Victim Paul Krugman, New York Times

Greece Races As Cash Dwindles With Europe Seeking Austerity Bloomberg

Effects of capital controls on Greece John Dizard, Financial Times

Rescue Me Edward Hugh, Economonitor. A compelling, grim analysis on Spain. Bottom line: its bailout has only begun.

Europe Gets Emerging Market Crisis Ultimatum As G-20 Meet Bloomberg. This is as silly as Obama hectoring Europe, although they are giving lip service to more stimulus.

What happens if Angela Merkel does get her way Wolfgang Munchau, Financial Times. Wow, this is a ballsy piece. Munchau pretty much predicts a Spanish and Italian exit from the eurozone.

National Front leader Marine Le Pen fails in her bid to enter French parliament Independent

Egypt military make move as polls close Financial Times

Egypt Live Blog Aljazeera. Again, for your convenience.


The leaks that are devaluing the Obama doctrine Edward Luce, Financial Times

Thousands March Silently to Protest Stop-and-Frisk Policies New York Times

The Efficiency Fairy and Inflation Goblins Randy Wray, New Economic Perspectives

Senators Grovel, Embarrass Themselves at Dimon Hearing Matt Taibbi (Sit Beg Cross)

The Federal Government, Throwing Families Into The Street To Make Billionaires Out of Millionaires Matt Weidner

Fascinating Mortgage & Housing Data Points Barry Ritholtz

* * *

Lambert here:

D – 82 and counting*

The sun on the meadow is summery warm, The stag in the forest runs free… –Fred Ebb

Occupy. “‘I was trained to speak in, like, five paragraphs at a time, with really clearly delineated, bulletproof arguments. And that kind of communication doesn’t leave a lot of space. That’s the point. It’s impenetrable. And that’s not how we talk in OWS,’ he said.” Moi?! Frazier Report on OPD: “[T]he department’s Tango Team officers, who are equipped with the less-than-lethal munitions, did not fill out records that night showing that they were issued the munitions or that they used them.” Can’t manage what you don’t measure. OccupyOakland: “Parents who disagree with the Oakland Unified School District board’s decision to close five elementary schools… are protesting by building an encampment on the Lakeview campus, just off Grand Avenue. … Parents have been getting help and advice from Occupy Oakland protesters.”

Montreal. U.N. puts Canada on human rights watchlist over Bill 78. Summer schedule: “The next large Quebec protest has been called for June 22…. Casseroles Night in Canada will [also] take place on Friday, June 22.” “The pillow fight ended with the smashing of a pinata of Quebec Premier Jean Charest. Inside were brown envelopes containing chocolate prizes, along with sheets of paper describing corruption allegations against the Charest government.” Red square: “[T]he phrase is Carrément dans le rouge, meaning ‘squarely in debt.’ That’s why hundreds of thousands… have taken to pinning little red squares of cloth to their clothes. But the red square has a history. It started in the Quebecois workers’ movement over a decade ago and was taken up by the militant wing of the student power movement.” Corruption: “I never cared about roadwork until I moved to Montreal; now every pylon screams ‘mafia’. Sickening – and in full view. Charest and Tremblay don’t realize/care just how much it damages the body politic when ‘ordinary people’ are nailed for the tiniest infraction yet other people can do exactly what they want, often with public money. It’s taken centuries to develop the concept of a ‘neutral state’ that allows some countries to have a public life where people willingly share their resources instead of hoarding them for family protection/bribes. Just incredible.” Silent majority: “Because our premier is in the middle of a fear campaign. He’s cultivating it. He couldn’t be cultivating it more. In his view, and this is what’s interesting, everything appears radical. He’s like an extreme-centre politician, an old man who thinks the music is always too loud. Everything is radical. The PQ are extremists, the CAQ is a waiting room for sovereignty, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is a 130-pound Taliban, the casseroles are a threat to the government, the red square is a diabolical symbol of intimidation and violence.” Polling: “For the political pollster, Jean-Marc Léger, this left-right split was revealed in the federal election of May 2011. At that moment, ‘the left-right split took the upper hand.’ He noted that at that moment, 43% of Quebeckers had voted NDP. ‘That’s a higher percentage than René Lévesque got in1976!’ The separatist-federalist debate hasn’t totally disappeared, but ‘the left-right split got added and is more and more dominant,’ he notes.” Polling: “Averaging out the take from pollsters, politics blog ThreeHundredEight put Charest’s Liberals at 32.5 per cent support, a slim 0.4 per cent over the opposition Parti Quebecois. While the lead is razor thin, far too narrow an advantage on which to gamble a call for election, it shatters the narrative of the suffering Liberals.” Montreal landlord forbids his tenants from banging pots from their balconies.” (Un propriétaire montréalais interdit depuis deux semaines à ses locataires de jouer de la casserole sur leur balcon.) “As we cleared out, the crowd chanted, ‘On reste calme! On reste calme!‘ (‘We’re staying calm. We’re staying calm.’ In Quebecois French, public language often takes the indicative rather than the imperative mood. So rather than ‘Don’t litter!’ signs will frequently say, ‘I put my garbage in the trash can.’ This tendency sometimes transfers to our marching chants.)”

FL. You’re gonna have to learn your clichés. Tampa police spokeswoman: “Anarchy is a tactic, versus a group. It is used by different groups.” No no, it’s black bloc that’s a tactic, not a group! [snort, and meta-snort] Corruption: “[Connected Nation] won the contract to map the gaps in broadband Internet use in FL [and] got state lawmakers to remove the agency in charge [Department of Management Services] and to expand its own role.”

LA. Times-Picayune: “‘Joe,’ I said, as I climbed in and started trying to pat the creases out of my white linen suit, ‘some of my lunch companions tell me Beast Butler is back. Have you seen him around?'”

MA. “All in all, we are seeing how they make the sausage. For the mouth breathers that want to shrink government, so they can drown it in a bathtub, details are unrewarding. For those of us that feel government is our imperfect approach to propelling all of us forward, together; seeing the beautiful imperfections is compelling.”

ME. “Late last month, a train carrying 104 tank cars filled with crude traveled 2,435 miles from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota across ME to the Irving Oil refinery in St. John, New Brunswick.”

MI. “Vagina Monologues to be performed on Capitol steps tomorrow.”l

MT. Stay classy: “Montana GOP convention features bullet-riddled ‘Obama outhouse’.”

NC. Bipartisan vote keeps NC state liquor stores open Sundays and holidays for D convention. Bar owner: “It’s always a good thing when you can have access to liquor.” True!

OH. Fracking: “State officials have spent the past three months combing through property records across eastern OH in an effort to open up OH”s forests and parks to shale drilling.”

PA. Privatization: “The Green Party of Philadelphia has taken a firm stand against privatizing of Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW). … PGW is the largest municipally-owned gas utility in the U.S.”

TX. “Today at [Paul Kubosh]’s offices on Lubbock, the issue regarded feeding the homeless, and whether or not it’s our God-given right as citizens of these United States to give a homeless person some ‘bread and a packet of bologna.’ In April, [Houston] outlawed bequeathing a meal upon a homeless person without permission of the property owner.”

VA. “Continuity of Government” at UVA: [Home builder Helen] Dragas, [venture capitalist Mark] Kington and Hunter Craig, a Charlottesville industrialist, who formed a quorum of the UVA board’s executive committee, were the only ones on the 16-member board to actually vote on [President Teresa Sullivan]’s forced resignation.” (Earlier WaPo story) “Even though UVA has indicated that President Sullivan would remain in office until August 15, a transition memo that Wood shared indicates that Wood herself no longer reports to the president– but instead to the Rector and Vice-Rector, Helen Dragas and Mark Kington.” “Tonight, the Faculty Senate met and approved the no-confidence vote already passed by its executive council—stating support for Sullivan.” Provost John Simon: “The Board actions over the next few days will inform me as to whether UVA remains the type of institution I am willing to dedicate my efforts to help lead.” “The school’s Honor Committee, which took a step unprecedented its 170-year history, calling the board’s failure to explain its actions ‘inconsistent with the value of trust that runs through the very fabric of our university.'” “Unless they’ve broken the law or the rules, [Gov] McDonnell’s appointees to the board — many are big-dollar donors and 1 percent-ers or better; most are influential in business or politics — cannot be removed in midterm just because he may want to remove them.” “It’s the kind of mistake that could be a case study taught by business schools as a classic tale of how secrecy backfires in a forced resignation offered without scandal and with only the barest sketch of vague philosophical differences.” “UVA donors threaten to withhold funds over ouster of president.” Bowdlerizing science: “The General Assembly approved a study on the effects of sea-level rise only after references to ‘sea level rise’ were removed.” Now: “recurrent flooding.” R state convention: “‘We are all friends here,’ he said, straining to be understood over the din.” Alrighty then.

WI. You’re gonna have to learn your clichés: “[WALKER]: We need to confront the powerful special interests in Washington and put the hard working taxpayers back in charge of our government. … We need that kind of bold leadership again today to get our fiscal house on track [block that metaphor!] and to get our economy back in order. But more big government is not the answer as the president contends.” (Note to self: Nooners? Long shot: Favreau?) Iron mine: “Tim Sullivan, chairman of the WI Mining Association, said Walker charged him with spearheading an effort to examine WI’s mining laws and learn about mine permitting in other states. That, he said, likely will lead to the formation of a panel to draw up a new proposal to streamline WI’s permitting process for iron mines.” Hoo boy. Corruption: “The Waukesha Water Utility Commission also recently approved a package of bonuses and perks for Daniel Duchniak, its General Manager and key diversion planner and advocate — including the use of a vehicle similar to the Ford Edge pictured below — an immediate bonus of $15,000, and up to $50,000 in additional “longevity” bonuses in two stages….” Corruption: “Among the findings of the [Legislative Audit Bureau]’s 174-page report is that no results were ‘tracked or reported’ for 22 state economic development programs, including four loan or grant programs that doled out $3.9 million.” Recall: “If $80 million was spent, that’s more than $20 per vote.” Recall: “In the 2010 governor’s race, Walker won rural voters by 20 points. On June 5, he won them by almost 30 points (64% to 36% in the exit polls), the biggest margin in any race for governor or president in WI since the 1990s.” Long haul bromide: “Big fish can still be fried.”

Inside Baseball. “A half-dozen competitive Senate races this cycle feature a Republican businessman running solely on his or her record of creating jobs and generating revenue.” “Government should be run like a business” ranks about as high as “government is like a household” in the pernicious meme sweepstakes. “The challenges facing the polling industry demand transparency about methodology—to say nothing of data that is publicly available in a timely fashion—and many pollsters simply will not provide either.” Linking to: “The real story here is less about Gallup than about the new reality of public opinion polling. Sophisticated random samples, live interviews and rigorous calling procedures alone can no longer guarantee accurate results. Today’s rapidly declining response rates require more weighting than ever before to correct demographic skews, a phenomenon that places growing stress on previously reliable weighting procedures.”

Policy. Obama Doctrine: “Mr Obama’s national security doctrine is based on moving to a smarter age in which the US substitutes drones, better diplomacy and covert actions for large-scale military operations. Craftiness and discretion are paramount. … Plausible deniability is integral to the success of the Obama doctrine. Yet Mr Obama is apparently willing to auction it off for votes.” Yes, and? Obama Doctrine, Jesse Ventura (!): “He’s leaving private contractors over there, a lot of them. He hasn’t closed Gitmo yet. He didn’t prosecute anyone for torture. We’re now a country known throughout the world, we torture people, and I’m ashamed of that.” Immigration: “[PLOUFFE:] This is not a political move.” [snort] Heartland reaction: “Obama’s action looks like a blatant election-year attempt to appeal to the large and growing constituency of Latino voters. He could have enacted this policy years ago, or at least after the U.S. Senate killed the DREAM Act. But I’m glad the president did the right thing today, even if for the wrong reasons.” R reaction: “FL’s Marco Rubio, the only Hispanic Republican in the U.S. Senate and a vice-presidential shortlister for Romney: “Today’s announcement will be welcome news for many of these kids desperate for an answer, but it is a short term answer to a long term problem.”

Ron Paul. R IA state convention: “At least 21 of the 28 delegates backed Paul, who came in third in the IA caucuses.”

Libertarian Party. “The below press release from the Reeves faction of the Libertarian Party of Oregon (LPO) was issued in the aftermath of their June 14 victory in court against the Wagner faction. Both view themselves as the legitimate leadership of the LPO.” Alrighty then. Gary Johnson: “America is better and brighter than this. Be libertarian with me this one time, and I’ll prove it to you.” Not bad messaging.

Romney. Magical mysteries: “More than anything, Romney seemed blown away by the Wawa [PA convenience chain] computers, which he raved about. ‘You press a little touchtone key pad… You touch this, touch this, touch this, go pay the cashier, and there’s your sandwich,’ Romney said. ‘It’s amazing!'” Touchtone key pad? Isn’t that a little 80s? Map of Romney’s bus tour made by ABC’s Falcone. Not smart: “Mitt Romney rescheduled an event at a Pennsylvania WaWa Saturday after Obama supporters rallied at the bus tour stop. Instead of confronting the protesters, Romney stopped at a WaWa several towns over, but it cost him local headlines.” Man Of The People Watch: “The Romneys declared a loss of $77,000 on their 2010 tax returns for the share in the care and feeding of Rafalca, which Mrs. Romney owns with Mr. Ebeling’s wife, Amy, and a family friend, Beth Meyers.” So, did they strap Rafalca to the top of the horse van?

Obama. “Obama’s ability to speak frankly about the European crisis is complicated by his dual roles of chief executive and candidate.” What ability? Roberto Unger, Obama’s prof at law school: “President Obama must be defeated in the coming election. He has failed to advance the progressive cause in the United States.” Nary a word on this from the “progressive” sites, oddly. Or not. Ian Welsh was right about this.

* 82 days ’til the Democratic National Convention feasts on stone crabs on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. 82 is the number Kurt Vonnegut wants carved on his tombstone.

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Brent Musburger, Jr (news anchor)

    Breaking News! This Just In!

    Thanks to strong encouragement (to say nothing of naked intimidation) by the European and international ruling elite, the pro-bailout, pro-homelessness, anti-worker New Democracy has narrowly defeated the anti-bailout, anti-homelessness, and pro-worker radical left SYRIZA.

    Cheered by the near certainty that an ND victory means increased homelessness, unemployment and overall misery in Greece, US futures and European markets rallied with the German DAX up 1.3% up while the CAC in Paris was 1.1% higher.

    However, the rally was short-lived as attention turned to Spain, and positive sentiment eroded amid rumors of decreasing homelessness, unemployment and disturbing signs that the Spanish people’s misery index was slightly lower than yesterday.

    Story developing…

    1. Ned Ludd

      I think the wealthy in Europe and North America now know that they can push the populace into serfdom. People might get upset and yell a bit in the streets, but elections will serve as a tool to legitimize austerity and other neoliberal policies. Imagine protesting Scott Walker in Wisconsin now. He – and most of the people of Wisconsin – would dismiss you as a sore loser.

      Elections are a poisoned chalice. Successful social movements do not rally ’round the lesser-evil. In Bolivia, people protested the previous neoliberal governments, and now they protest the current socialist government. Social movements make moral demands – to breathe clean air, drink clean water, protect the integrity of their culture and their land, guard the earth against the ravages of modern industrial capitalism, and insure that economic development is socially inclusive.

      Moral demands cannot be erased at the ballot box.

      1. Susan the other

        Yanis Varoufakis’ brief tantrum about MSM’s obsession with twisting the reality. Finally. His message to the BBC and other hysterical outlets (above, very brief) was that there is no either/or in the Greek vote. None of them wants to leave the EU. But austerity itself is the cause of the current financial dysfunction. So the Greeks know this and altho they voted ND they still are demanding a renegotiation of austerity. They want want to go back to the bargaining table and figure out the right way to do it.

        As opposed to the pushers of global financial disorganization who seek an entirely new form of freedom: Freedom from national laws and regulations; from politics itself, except for one small exception (in the fine print) – global finance, run by global corporations, wants all nations to deliver last-resort reimbursement for the bank’s own failures, frauds, ponzis, and other misfortunes. The banks want the taxpayers to bail them out perpetually. And clearly, they believe austerity is the way to do this.

        In order for global corporate bankers to achieve this new freedom, all political bargaining must be minimized, sidelined, and killed. So in fact it really is either/or for the bankers. Not for Greece.

      2. LeonovaBalletRusse

        How much longer before the “FEMA Camp” International “Contractors” swing into action in the Hot Club Med Bloc? Hasn’t the “EU” already bought “airport security product” from Chertoff’s Monopoly on “approved” TSA Xray machines” to advance the Georgia Guidestone Global Agenda respecting Nature?

      3. Neo-Realist

        The problem in our country is that Moral Demands are outbid by corporate lobbyists, thereby rendering them ineffective if not erased.

  2. tomk

    Philip Pilkington’s comment on the Adam Curtis piece has disappeared into moderation on the BBC comment board. Maybe we could view it here?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Hah, you noticed that too and I already asked him. His e-mail:

      It’s VERY easy to get comments removed on BBC. They’re very testy. I’ve had a comment or two removed before. Here’s what I wrote:

      @ NausikaDalazBlindaz

      I don’t think its relevant to comment on Mr. Idema’s sexual preferences, but I think that it’s adamantly clear that he was likely a pathological liar who we can confirm killed at least one person due to his lying and, at worst, probably spread his BS — in very tangible, viral form — to other victims who he had casual relations with. A walking time-bomb, I’d call him. And, frankly, I think this is relevant to Curtis’ exposition.

      Frankly, I think that the guy I was responding to was more ‘offensive’ in that he seemed to attribute certain personality traits to Idema due to his sexual preferences. But hey, what do I know — I’m not a BBC moderator!

      And Pilkington’s second e-mail on this topic:

      Just noticed they removed my first comment too. Yeah, Idema died from AIDs. I posted a link to his girlfriend’s blog where she says that Idema knowingly gave her AIDs which he contracted from engaging in homosexual encounters. Scandalous, the BBC must think. But if the British Broadcasting Corporation feels that it must cover up the fact that a torturer killed at least one person by knowingly spreading AIDs, that’s fine with me.

    2. BL0

      I knew Idema way back when, he once threatened to knock me out (which is really just kind of how he says hello; my coworker, him he threatened to scoop out his eyes and skullfuck him.) For a lunatic he’s a straight arrow. He doesn’t willingly boof guys. His cherished mongolian shepherd pup, I could see that, maybe (he trained it to knock a sidearm out of your hand) – but not guys, I don’t buy it. As for the AIDS, let’s not forget Keith’s sojourn in an Afghan prison. He was always a rambunctious inmate, even here at home, and getting reamed is a fairly routine sanction in and out of the correctional milieu, as anal-receptive sex has hierarchial symbolism in Afghan culture. But why would the BBC care either way?

  3. dearieme

    I doubt what Curtis has to say when he gets elementary facts wrong. “Britain’s colonial independence struggles in places like Malaya in the 1950s” won’t do.

    An attempted takeover of Malaya by a communist group consisting overwhelmingly of members of the Chinese minority was defeated. Malaya later was made independent as Malaysia with power in the hands of the Malay majority.

    That was no mere “independence struggle” and it’s silly to paint it as one. His decision to do so is very odd because what actually happened could be looked upon as support for his scepticism about counter-insurgency, since you’d expect that it would be easier to beat an insurgency pursued by members of an ethnic minority than one pursued by an ethnic majority.

    1. Klassy!

      Ha. Read through some more comments and someone else used the camel’s back phrase too…

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      William K. Black’s “The Road to Bangladesh” for the rest of us, the global 99%.

  4. Bill the Psychologist

    “The sun on the meadow is summery warm, The stag in the forest runs free…” –Fred Ebb

    One of the most chilling but powerful scenes in one of my all-time favorite movies, Cabaret.

    Thanks for the reminder……..

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Lambert, didn’t you quote the first line of “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” in a Reply over the last few days?

    1. Klassy!

      I also don’t oppose all trade deals. I voted for two of them because they have the worker and environmental agreements I believe in. Some of you disagreed with me on this but I did what I thought was right.
      I see now. “Agreements” does not equal “protections”.

  5. skippy

    “The twentieth century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy” – Alex Carey


    Top Comments

    I had to make a powerpoint presentation for my company and I used this song as an intro song to the presentation.

    swordfishmatador 1 year ago 57

    Genius! This should be the anthem for the United Corporations of America that we’ve become.

    schoolercat 1 year ago 42

  6. cwaltz

    You know I actually admire Gary Johnson(as opposed to hack Ron Paul.) While I disagree with him over regulatory structure I can appreciate that the guy is consistent. He is pro choice, and disagrees with allowing government to limit who marriage belongs to which is completely consistent with the hands off approach that libertarians espouse. At least with him you wouldn’t have to worry that he’d tread all over your right to your own belief set.

  7. cwaltz

    The UVA story is interesting. It seems like another case of a bunch of officials insisting they know better than the public at large and making decisions behind closed doors. Why am I not surprised that one of the people was a Mark Warner(D) business partner?

    1. JTFaraday

      I think she needed to delegate more. Here’s a account of some of her priorities, most of which could have been passed off to the Provost, as chief academic officer:

      University Presidents just don’t get to spend 2+ years on internal affairs any more. They have to stick their necks out into the (primarily business) community to generate all kinds of flashy synergistic partnerships that enables the local narcissists and wealthy alumni hangers-on to stroke their reputations while convincing the not too probing to open their wallets because that’s what the not too probing find impressive.

      They pay academic and business administrators to actually manage the university. The President is there to fluff the board and the donors. That the Board has nothing concrete to point to just underlines the fact that it just threw a self serving hissy fit.

      But it can’t say that in public, especially when everyone is busy wondering if higher education really serves the students and why does it cost so much?

  8. MacCruiskeen

    Re: cat counting: I believe it. My previous cat was like that with his treats. If I didn’t give him the right amount he knew he was being shorted. But I am not really surprised: animals that need to keep track of offspring, others in a group, etc., need some level of quantity tracking. I guess there was some surprise about the bears because they are more solitary than even cats, and so don’t have complicated social groupings to remember.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      At the minimum all animals count using a binary system – I have food (on) and I dont have food (off).

      They count but they are not necessarily aware that they are counting – that’s the essence of Zen. They don’t shout, look mom, I am counting. They just fo it. They lose themselves in whatever they are doing at the moment.

  9. YankeeFrank

    All mammals have the ability to count. Mothers, and fathers, are able to count the babies in their litters in order to make sure none of them are missing. I’ve seen this behavior from dogs and cats, and I’ve seen this behavior from a dog worrying over a litter of kittens. I’m sure its not limited to them. They also understand human language, they just ignore most of it because 99% of what we say is worthless to them.

  10. Steve

    The question I find most important here is how in the world do you get your cat to take four pills every day?


    1. ctct

      once you routinize it(generally doesn’t take very long) the cat(more than dogs, who don’t seem as conscientious:D) will get upset if you don’t give it the pills…

        1. ctct

          perhaps.. that’s anecdotal info from various cat owners i know
          with chronically ‘sick’ animals

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      He thinks they are tasty and the vitamin makers have tried to make them appetizing. But he won’t eat all cat vitamins, I ran short of the kind I usually feed him and tried getting another brand at a pet food store, and he refused to eat them.

      He’s pretty omnivorous for a cat. He likes asparagus, broccoli, and even weirder, artichokes.

      1. MacCruiskeen

        When I had to give my cat medicine, I squished the pills into a treat. Then he would eat the treat. He got regular pills from the pharmacy, not fancy pet pills.

        1. Steve

          The times we’ve tried that with a cat, the cat eats the treat, carefully leaving the pill behind. Dogs on the other hand, no problem.

    1. ctct

      people need to believe the vote is rigged… that will de-legitimize the system(congress-iron triangle) even further-of course, the obvious hazard is a military govt… at the behest of the fortune 100… ‘it doesn’t matter who wins the election-it matters who counts the votes’ paraphrase of everyone’s favorite uncle

  11. EconCCX

    The Biggest Myth Preventing an Economic Recovery — Washington’s Blog

    The most dangerous myth is the myth about how banks make loans; the biggest myth is that private debt doesn’t matter. All at the heart of Krugmanomics.

    (MMT will remind us that these loan “deposits” are only bank IOU’s until they’re cleared by means of reserves. Not much of a constraint, as giant banks approach monopoly, handling both sides of a transaction. And swaps, whereby banks leverage each others’ liquidity.)

    Service-backed money would allow money creation without borrowing or lending. Example: a subway token, backed by the obligation of the issuer to provide a service. Used beyond the subway as a general means of exchange. .

    Assuming some bridges in Greece have toll barriers, Greece could call those bridge tickets Drachma. But Greek banks could not issue “debt drachma” or “inside drachma,” as these would not be accepted at the bridges. The drachma would co-exist with the Euro, and enable Greeks to do for Greeks. Productive for each other through the specialization of labor, rather than sidelined as uncompetitive in global/euro terms.

  12. Susan the other

    Randall Wray. Great post. As organic as a poem. The Efficiency Fairy and Inflation Goblins. NEP. I think I agree with the guy who thinks we are already practicing MMT but we are too puritanical to admit it. Funny. And where is the problem exactly? Why, it is In the mind of the undertaker. In German unternehmen is to contract. To undertake, or take on. Anyway I like the image of Mitt as our double-entendre Great Undertaker. That hideous image couldn’t be glued to a nicer zombie.

    And Randall Wray gave me a great new turn-around idea for Mitt and his zombie friends: They can go all Eco with this plan: They can make all of our salt marshes more efficient by limiting the variety of organisms working in them! I mean there are trillions of organisms that are just useless and each one that is eliminated can translate over time and compound interest to one dollar each. God what a fortune. I think I just wet my pants.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      See: The Great Undertaker image on highway and Internet billboards, in TV ads.

    2. F. Beard

      Wow! Randall is really committed to a JG when a BIG is all that is really needed to get the necessary (to pay off private debt) money into the economy.

      The basic contention is who gets to decide what work is done beyond government’s traditional role … the private sector or government.

    3. MacCruiskeen

      “By contrast, the university professor—say, Hyman Minsky—has never met a payroll. ”

      This is true. It is the job of the professor’s administrative assistant to stay on top of the group’s budget and try to keep the research associates from overspending the accounts. She’s the only one really worried about the money. (And in actuality, hustling for research funds is a big part of the professor’s job.)

  13. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Matt Weidner’s piece reveals the apotheosis of The Shock Doctrine in USA!USA!

  14. LeonovaBalletRusse

    LS re Quebec – “every pylon screams mafia” – BIG “Italian community” in Montreal; see at the reviews of books telling the evolution of the “mafia” from Risorgimento “Kingdom of the Two Sicilies” unto now.

    NOW: a “Messina” running numbers for Obama’s re-election. X-ref “Messina” et al. in New Orleans, Jefferson Parish, and the “Gulf Coast.

    Still, the food at Mosca’s on the West Bank was/is consistently fabulous: keeping tradition is the Way. A man named “Bruno Mosca” is said to have been Napoleon’s physician.

  15. LeonovaBalletRusse

    RE: link to “Rescue Me” — “Merkel has finally and definitively accepted Spain into the German embrace” — gotta love the solidarity of Holy Roman Reich IV players.

  16. LeonovaBalletRusse

    LS: Jesse Ventura: “we torture people, and I’m ashamed of that” — Xref piece on Noam Chomsky’s weeping when his heart-mind grieved over what “We” had accomplished through Premier Kissoff in Laos. WE are ashamed to be “Americans” in the same breath. Refer to this qual-ity of shame and grief over being a complicity through “what we have left undone” as citizens under the regime of dark Agents of a “nation.”

    “Jesus wept.”
    Abraham Joshua Heschel: “THE PROPHETS.”
    Peter Weir’s” “The Year of Living Dangerously.”

    WE are not “good.”

  17. LeonovaBalletRusse

    LS: “You touch this” — ad advertorial anent the bliss of “the cashless society.”

  18. Susan the other

    On Taibbi. Why is The Emperor Has No Clothes such a salient metaphor? Because there are still a few great BS callers like Yves and Taibbi and all the various contributors to NC. And one Senator, Merkley, from Oregon. How can there be only one senator asking coherent questions? A new metaphor needs to be The Congress Has No Clothes.

  19. stripes

    Coming up on CNBC…ex-FDIC CHAIR SHEILA BAIRD CALLING FOR THE BREAKUP OF THE INSOLVENT BIG BANKS. Ms. Baird is calling the “Too big to manage.” I knew that was coming when I heard that at the Jamie Dimon hearing.

  20. bob

    I normally like Curtis and his work. Crediting the US for counterinsurgency is sraight BS. The brits invented and continue to use this “strategy”. You don’t build history’s largest empire without it.

    Dating it, “all the way back” to the 1950’s is a huge laugh. England was practicing this strategy in the 16 and 1700’s. Then throw a frenchman in there, and blame it on him. Oh to have the crown standing behind me….BBC and me.

    As another poster above noted, but mispelled, stakeknife-

    It’s a much better story and SO much closer to home. An italian, working for MI5, becomes the head of counterintelligence with the IRA, and proceeds to “interrogate” his fellow spooks to death.

    Does the US have a problem? Yes. Does the brit have a plank in his eye?

    1. bob

      Please notice the words “counterinsurgency”, “CI”, and the dates….

      Still laughing out loud, and wondering who Curtis really works for now…

  21. cruz de los milagros

    Thanks that is a good tip. Tuitions of $23,000 for massage training I don’t know, but that seems to be on the extreme end of the spectrum. But requirements for massage hours and tuitions have been going up for some time in many states steadily. I wonder if this really produces better therapists or just more profit for schools.

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