Links 6/26/12

Apologies for being thin on my own posts. Some blog-related meetings on longer-term projects, and a lot of non-blog demands this week. But the caliber of guest posts and Lambert’s political coverage is hopefully keeping you happy.

Role of stress in dementia investigated BBC

Complex Thinking Behind the Bow and Arrow Science Daily (Chuck L)

Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma contains strategies that dominate any evolutionary opponent William Press, Freeman Dyson, PNAS (Chris M)

Living organ-on-a-chip could soon replace animal testing ExtremeTech (Carol B)

On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels Wall Street Journal

Is science a girl thing? mathbabe

Chesapeake and rival plotted to suppress land prices Reuters

Radioactive hot spots found in Tokyo park NHK

Cocaine Expansion in Peru Raises Fears of Global Spread Wall Street Journal. Does cheaper cocaine = more speedy traders = more speedy markets?

RBS boss says outsourcing not to blame for computer glitch Guardian (Richard Smith)

Rape charge against local Chinese official again raises questions of corruption McClatchy

BRICs Biggest Currency Depreciation Since 1998 To Worsen Bloomberg

The European Atrocity You Never Heard About The Chronicle (Chris M). Comment from Mark Ames:

I’ve read a lot about this part of hidden history, and related material—Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five about the RAF cooking 100,000 German civilians, Celine’s great trilogy about when he fled through Germany with his cat Bebert during the firebombings, Beevor’s book about the Soviet counter-offensive and destruction of Germany which included probably the largest mass-rape campaign since Genghis Khan and the mass ethnic cleansing of East Prussia (now Kaliningrad)…I’m sorry though, after reading all through it all as a war history buff, getting through the shock of huge edited out episodes like this, and reimagining the context — which is really a two act holocaust starting with WW1 and ending in the 2-3 years after WW2—this is hardly the worst of the under-recognized human rights atrocities. And having read some of the far-right Holocaust revisionist historians and far-right historians in general, the fact is that this part of the story is exactly what they emphasize to prove their point about the poor Germans, and in their hands, it is contrarianism with all the worst intentions.

The bottom line, which we forget: Europeans were bloodthirsty savages. Two world wars ended that. Now it’s just us and the Russians who have the bloodlust, among Northerners at least.

Merkel Hardens Resistance To Euro-Area Debt Sharing Bloomberg

Contagion in Europe: Evidence from the sovereign debt crisis VoxEU. Note this does not allow for the driver of the slow motion bank run: the fear of having deposits in the wrong country/bank in the event of a eurozone exit.

File Sharing and the Greek Crisis Media Piracy (Lambert)

Why The Hierarchy Fears The Nuns Talk to Action (Chuck L)

Justice Scalia Rages Against Obama On Immigration TPM (Ed Harrison)

More Revelations of Favorable Stock Trading By Members of Congress David Dayen, Firedoglake

Princeton’s Blinder Says Fed Has Weak Weapons For Growth Bloomberg

Principal Reduction Most Effective Type of Mod: Amherst DSNews

States Lacking Income Tax Get No Boost In Growth: BGOV Barometer Bloomberg

Possible Deal on Student Loan Interest Rates in the Senate David Dayen, Firedoglake

FHFA Wants Money Transferred from Local Government to Bondholders Adam Levitin, Credit Slips

Analysis: Money’s Retreat Home Threatens Globalization Reuters. Ahem, we’ve noted that the Reinhart/Rogoff work on financial crises showed that large international funds flows were correlated with severe financial crises. So more stability may require less integration.

Corporate Profits Just Hit An All-Time High, Wages Just Hit An All-Time Low Clusterstock (Carol B)

America is no longer a land of opportunity Joseph Stiglitz, Financial Times

Exclusive Interview: Joseph Stiglitz Sees Terrifying Future for America If We Don’t Reverse Inequality Alternet. This is pretty pointed.

* * *

Lambert here:

D – 75 and counting*

“The new always happens against the overwhelming odds of statistical laws and their probability, which for all practical, everyday purposes amounts to certainty; the new therefore always appears in the guise of a miracle.” –Hannah Arendt

Montreal. Monday was the Fête nationale, a holiday. A panaroma of the June 22 March. Not 100,000, but good. Summer schedule: “The dwindling numbers come on the heels of a decision announced before the June 22 march by Martine Desjardins, president of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ), to opt for door-to-door campaigning instead of nightly demonstrations. Their goal is to unseat the Liberal government.” Uh oh, WI recall. OTOH, FEUQ is not CLASSE is not CLAC. C’est normale: “Fête nationale party in Bois-des-Filion ends with 22 arrests [Capt. Sylvain Theoret ] says the people arrested will face charges of participating in a riot, armed assault, obstructing a police officer and making threats. Says bottles, rocks and even garbage cans were thrown at his officers by some in the mob of 500 people.” Of course, nobody was wearing a red square, so there’s no story!

AZ. “[R]edistricting in Arizona is done by a independent panel appointed by both the Democratic and Republican legislative caucuses. The panel also includes a fifth member who is registered as a member of neither party. [Partisans] were gobsmacked to find out that they didn’t get to draw the lines. They’ve been filing a series of lawsuits, at your expense and all so far unsuccessful, to stymie the things. This is despite the fact that the commission is part of the state constitution thanks to an amendment the voters passed nearly a decade and a half ago.”

CO. Water: “Cities have been called upon recently by two of the state’s top leaders to step up and provide water to Weld County farmers struggling to grow crops and who collectively face the potential of millions of dollars in lost production. [But] they don’t have any water to spare.” Federal lands: “The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) plan to allow drilling on the Roan Plateau in CO—a 50,000 acre area that the energy industry believes to contain one of the largest gas fields in the continental United States has been stopped by U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Krieger for failing to adequately address environmental impacts.” Fracking: “Nurses operate on the front lines of fracking chemical exposure and …. have first hand evidence of the affects of fracking in communities. They also suffer personal risk in the process. In CO, a nurse named Cathy Behr faced multiple organ failure after treating a drill rig worker splashed with an unidentified mixture of frack chemicals called ZetaFlow. Even when doctors were informed of the chemical composition of the mixture they were prohibited from sharing the information with Behr” [by gag orders].

FL. “Voter purge: “The emails document that — despite public claims to the contrary by Scott and Detzner — as early as October of last year, Matthews fully acknowledged Florida’s inability to supply DHS with the documentation required for all governmental agencies seeking access to the [SAVE] federal database.”

IN. Privatization: “Brazil, IN was out of money and couldn’t afford to keep up parts of its infrastructure, so they turned to the private sector and the result was sponsored fire plugs with KFC buckets on top of them.” Healthy!

LA. Corruption: “Former jail bookkeeper spent stolen $2 million on bills, pizza, Weight Watcher dues.” Gulf: “By adding Biochar, a charcoal-based substance, to marshlands, Silliman’s team is also using new bioremediation tactics to try to break down [polyaromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, a carcinogenic byproduct of oil] into organic material. If this method is successful, he said, it could be used to supplement naturally occurring microbes in the marsh mud that already oxidize the oil carcinogen.”

NY.Corruption: “The Troy firm Capital District Beginnings has been called out by the office of Comptroller Tom DiNapoli for $831,244 billed to the state for the two fiscal years ending in June 2010 for ‘services for no-show executives, inappropriate staff bonuses and other costs, including more than $40,000 for vehicles including one for the director who lives out of state.'” A fine and snarky wrap-up of the 2012 legislative session.

MI. Ballot access: “The Oakland County Elections Division recently rejected Troy Mayor Janice Daniels’ attempt to challenge the validity of the petitions used to collect signatures to recall Daniels, refuting her claims that the ‘type size’ used in the petitions invalidates the petitions and the signatures.” Everybody’s a typographer! Prediction is hard: “A handful of fresh polls indicate MI — for the moment, at least — is a dead heat between President Barack Obama and Romney.”

NJ. Fracking supply chain: “Where will waste from Marcellus wells go? Scratch NJ off the list, if Gov. Christie signs a bill passed this afternoon by the legislature.”

OH. Thomas Suddes: “Given the damage done to working Ohioans by corporate operators — and that, among other things, is what Romney is — it may seem unbelievable that Romney is even competitive in OH. That speaks volumes about how Obama’s economy is perceived by many Ohioans, even after discounting the old white guys who can never accept having a black president. ” Bellwether counties: “In a state that remains a key battleground, Steubenville and its Ohio Valley environs have become quintessential bellwethers, the region a microcosm of the struggle Obama long has faced with white working-class voters.”

OR. “I thought of the Union troops at Fredericksberg who pinned their names onto their jackets before charging the impregnable rebel line.”

PA. Voting, House Majority Leader Mike Turzai R: “‘Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.’ Will Voter ID actually make a difference for Romney? It’s highly unlikely. The closest any Republican has come to winning PA since 1988 was George W. Bush in 2004; he lost by 2.5 percent and 144,248 votes. That’s at least 144,000 higher than the number of voter fraud convictions in PA since 1988.”

TN. Corruption: “[Embattled Davidson County Clerk John Arriola plans to resign. He] has been under investigation for nearly a year over charging couples a $40 fee and pocketing the money when his office performed weddings.”

TX. Lackland AFB sex scandal: “Staff Sgt. Peter Vega-Maldonado pleaded guilty earlier this month to having sex with a female trainee and struck a plea deal for 90 days’ confinement. Then he acknowledged being involved with a total of 10 trainees — a number previously unknown to investigators.” How many more unknowns?

VA. Scare headlines: “Campus Chaos [ZOMG!!!]. Since then, students have demonstrated, hurled insults at Dragas and interim President Carl Zeithaml and spray-painted graffiti in the famous Rotunda that Jefferson modeled after Rome’s Pantheon.” Oh, come on. Our business leaders are like elephants who squeal and stamp at the sight of a mouse. In fact, the student protests are incredibly well-mannered and sedate. This afternoon, they’re holding an honor rally. Today’s BOV meeting: “Sullivan on Monday signaled that she would agree to stay without a guarantee of concrete changes, according to three people familiar with the negotiations.” This removes yesterday’s catch 22. Swill from the WSJ editorial page: Not only local bloggers (“didn’t get their facts straight”) but Darden’s Dean Bruner (“egregious damage to the Truth [capital in original]”) call out the WSJ. Fallout: “The unexpected ouster of President Teresa A. Sullivan of the University of Virginia has drawn the attention of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges, the institution’s accrediting agency. ” Countervailing view: “[N]ot being Dragas doesn’t make Sullivan a charismatic visionary on the verge of reclaiming the university from corporate domination. It doesn’t even put her in the league of Susan Herbt at the University of Connecticut and leaders elsewhere, who are hiring hundreds of new faculty.” Countervailing view: “Dragas may have mishandled procedural and public-relations aspects of the resignation in explaining her reasons for seeking Sullivan’s ouster, but she has provided the most incisive commentary yet seen on the threats facing the university. … Full-time-equivalent (FTE) student enrollment increased 5.4% over that nine-year period. Yet the number of FTE employees increased 8.5%. That is all the more remarkable, considering that Dragas has bemoaned a declining faculty-student ratio. The numbers imply an increase in administrative overhead, expansion in non-core activities, an erosion in faculty productivity or a combination of all three. The strongest academic growth area was “institutional support In other words, administrative overhead.” True at my own multi-campus state university here in the great state of Maine, where if I read the numbers right, fully one-third of the budget is leeched off by administrators at the centralized Chancellor’s office (“the system”). Late breaking: A Koch connection?

WI. Snark watch: “…well-meaning moderates who think the Left can surrender our way to victory…”

Outside Baseball. Corruption: “The lawmakers, many of whom held leadership positions and committee chairmanships in the House and Senate, changed portions of their portfolios a total of 166 times within two business days of speaking or meeting with the administration officials. The party affiliation of the lawmakers was about evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, 19 to 15.” Bipartisan! Class warfare: “‘My dad could afford to give me a start in life, therefore I am completely independent and deserve sole credit for all of my achievements’ is a construction I will never understand. Then again I suppose we should all have the grace to be born white in a Western country, because I totally remember that choice in the womb and boy am I awesome for having made it.” James Fallows: “How would you characterize a legal system that knowledgeable observers assume will not follow the law and instead will advance a particular party-faction agenda?” (The headline was “coup,” which has been in the discourse since at least 2009. And at the Atlantic, too!) Non-violent tactic #159: “10 people will be taking part in the hunger strike, which has been organized by a grassroots group called Communities and Postal Workers United. The group of strikers includes … postal workers [and] an activist from an Occupy group in IN. ‘Congress is stuck on stupid,’ said Partridge, a retired letter carrier from Portland, Ore. ‘We’re here to shame Congress into doing the right thing. We’re willing to suffer.’ Pr0n: “We’re going to do for adult what Apple (AAPL) did for the music business with the iTunes store. Rather than the traditional model—$24.99 upfront for all-access monthly memberships—porn consumers will shell out 99¢ apiece for short clips of niche material” (see also). Everybody’s all iThis and iThat — including Rector Dragas, Dean Bruner, and wacky squillionaire Paul Tudor Jones. This time it’s different. Media critique: “While Morning Edition serves as an amplification of the messages of the respective campaigns, All Things Considered tries to provide more third party validated analysis and commentary.” For a restricted range of third parties. Yikes, Maurice Sendak: “Bush was president, I thought, ‘Be brave.’ Tie a bomb to your shirt. Insist on going to the White House. And I want to have a big hug with the vice president, definitely. And his wife, and the president, and his wife, and anybody else that can fit into the love hug.”

Robama vs. Obomney watch. Saint Ronnie: “The White House on Monday verbally rapped the knuckles of a pair of guests who posed for photographs giving former President Ronald Reagan’s portrait the one-finger salute while attending a gay pride reception a week ago.” My pearls! [clutches]

Policy. Fracking: “Heather Zichal, the top White House energy aide, told reporters that she expects the Interior Department rules regulating hydraulic fracturing, dubbed fracking, to be completed by year’s end [despite a two-month extension of the public comment period].” After the election. Immigration

Immigration. Boggled: “[SCALIA:] But to say, as the Court does, that AZ contradicts federal law by enforc­ing applications of the Immigration Act that the President declines to enforce boggles the mind.” Romney on immigration, 2011: “I actually have a plan in mind, I haven’t unveiled it.” Alrighty then. Pierce: “The president stuck Willard’s feet in quicksand on this issue a couple of weeks ago and, suddenly, his primary-season support for the AZ law is dissolved into raspberry Jell-O because he’s looking at a demographic abyss.” Snark watch, at the Guardian (!): “Finally the news no one has been waititng for: how Mitt Romney will evade commenting on today’s immigration ruling.” “‘[ROMNEY:] … pursue a national immigration strategy…. … each state has the duty – and the right – to secure our borders …’ [Guardian:] ‘Classic piece of Rombollocks. …. Romney gives no details in exactly what areas states should have latitude – issuing their own visas?'” Obama: “No American should ever live under a cloud of suspicion just because of what they look like.” True! But if an American tries to claim their First or Fourth Amendment rights, send in the goons! There have to be goons!

HCR. Snark watch: “When the Supreme Court puts a torpedo in the side of HCR, I’d suggest spending some time with Winterreise, Death and the Maiden, and a bottle of Scotch, because the music of someone who died of syphillis at age 31 strikes about the right tone for the country we’ve become.” Boo hoo. FISA. TARP. HAMP. NDAA. Mortgage settlement. Kill list. And on and on. Roberts to author? “We don’t know for sure that Roberts is going to write the majority opinion, but veteran court-watchers say it’s almost certain, because Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in the Arizona immigration case that was read today. The Supremes try to rotate the authorship duties around. … After today, Roberts is on deck.” Roberts to strike mandate? “Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, a former clerk to Justice Sam Alito, said that if Chief John Roberts writes the majority opinion in the health care case, as some have speculated, it would make it ‘substantially more likely’ that the Supreme Court would strike down the individual mandate.” Or not? “My theory remains that Roberts and Kennedy will balk at overturning the healthcare act, especially just four months from a national referendum on the same question. Roberts is a true conservative who believes in the separate roles of the three branches of government.” Or definitely not? 7-2/6-3 ObamaCare. Strategy memo obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times: “The memo outlined a game plan to use traditional media–plus FaceBook and Twitter to ‘serve as a way to inform your followers of the Court’s decision while adding your voice to the conversation. Members should be prepared to have a concise message to send through these accounts once the decision is released.'” “Conversation,” like “pivot,” is another tell that you’re hearing a bullshit narrative. Top-down propagation of talking points is only a conversation if you’re pathologically self-involved. Oh, wait…

Grand Bargain™-brand cat food watch. Drowning Grover in a bathtub: “Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.), the only Senate D to sign [Norquist’s] Taxpayer Protection Pledge, says he will not let it stop him from backing a deficit-reduction package that raises new taxes.” Jawbs: “[The parties] refusal to agree on a plan to stop the government from going over a ‘fiscal cliff’ at the end of the year is driving American businesses to delay hiring and in some cases to actually trim their payrolls.” Anecdotal quotes from executives!

The trail. Media critique: “With that in mind, here are five questions for the week ahead: (1) How many news cycles will the health care decision dominate?…” Why Politico, and why not Politico.

Obama. Man in the street: “A lot of people who were ardent supporters of [President Obama] the first time around have become a bit disillusioned, because of Guantanamo Bay still being open and some of the other things he didn’t do.'” Razor thin margin, Thomas Suddes: “The corn belt is fundamentally Republican; but a few votes here, a couple there, and a Democrat can chip away at a Republican’s Ohio tally. Truman carried Ohio by just 7,107 votes — Carter, by 11,116. … Obama’s campaign seems to be frantically trying to boost Ohio turnout by nudging what might be called the college-town and yuppie vote (examples: the president’s endorsement of same-sex marriage, as well as his recent decision to stop deporting some illegal immigrants).” Celebrity culture: Obama and Michelle describe their first date. “The [short video] interview coincides with a competition his Obama For America campaign have launched which offers winners the opportunity to have ‘dinner with President Obama, along with a guest of your choice and four other supporters.’ “[OBAMA:] Take tips, gentlemen!” Indeed. One day you may get married, become President, and shill the intimate details of your courtship for five bucks a pop at a fundraiser!

* 75 days ’til the Democratic National Convention ends with old brandy and fat cigars on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. January 1, 1975: John N. Mitchell, H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman are found guilty of the Watergate cover-up.

* * *

Antidote du jour:

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  1. The representive from Credit Suisse


    The nori looks a little too raw for me, but those cats are prime eating. It’s much easier to roll them up if they’re asleep like that. Ideally you want the sharp claws on the outside of the roll, so that they can be trimmed before serving.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


      That was introduced by the Portuegese in the 15/16th century as part of their Catholic diet.

      The first Tokugawa shogun was said to be fond of it

      Buy I don’t think he would have enjoyed those cats in his tempura menu.

      Since sushi originated in Vietnam, arrived in Japan via China, perhaps cat sushi existed once.

  2. IF

    While my grandfather’s family was one of many Germans expelled from Sudetenland (could take whatever they were able to carry, house was destroyed), I have a Hungarian friend whose grandfather was symmetrically cleansed from Slovakia:
    Looking a bit deeper a lot of borders in eastern Europe and the Balkan shifted, kicking one or the other population over the fence. But I disagree that this process ended with the war. There was an episode of Turkish Bulgarians removed from the country in 1989
    and of course Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Albania in the 90s. Wondering where else scores are open.

    1. timotheus

      It also started before the war. Timothy Snyder’s “Bloodlands” is a good (terrifying) summary.

  3. russell1200

    The expulsion of the Germans is an atrocity?

    The Germans defeated the Russians in World War 1 and had planned to hold onto a large part of their territory. Poland did not exist at that time.

    The Germans almost defeated the Soviets in World War 2, and as we know, planned to hold onto a lot of that territory.

    The pretext for a lot of Germany’s earlier territory grabs prior to World War 2 was that they were uniting the German folk.

    So the Soviets wanted a larger buffer between them and the Germans, and did this by shoving the Polish West. Simultaneously, they wanted to avoid any pretext of further German incursions into the area.

    That is what happens when you fight two world wars, both times with asperations toward territorial expansion, and loose.

  4. rka

    “Beevor’s book about the Soviet counter-offensive and destruction of Germany which included probably the largest mass-rape campaign since Genghis Khan…”

    Actually, that would be Operation Barbarossa, the beginning of the Nazi campaign in the USSR.

    You see, before Barbarossa started, Hitler suspended the provisions of German military law dealing with the treatment of civilians in the theater of war. What then followed was mass murder, mass rape, and mass looting on an utterly unprecedented scale.

    The only way a German soldier could face legal sanctions for rape in the USSR was if he raped a Jew. He would then be prosecuted, not for rape, but for violating the Nuremburg Laws on racial purity.

    On the other hand, tens of thousands of Soviet soldiers were sentenced by military tribunals for raping German women, or were summarily shot in the act by a superior officer. John Erickson’s treatment of the entire war on the Eastern Front after Stalingrad “The Road to Berlin” has more material on the Soviet Army’s measures to maintain discipline among their troops than is found in Beevor’s account. This is strange because the Soviet Army’s sexual violence in Germany is Beevor’s main theme. Beevor even cites Erickson’s “The Road to Berlin” as a source.

    One must conclude that either Beevor didn’t notice Erickson on this subject, or didn’t care to have his main theme weakened.

    1. Hubert

      In the math of Barbarossa the Germans let millions of Russian Soldiers starve in prisoner camps, the SS Sondereinsatzkommando executed all Jews they could get their hands on. All sorts of barbaric acts were comitted, many of them arguably much worse than mass raping. But at least there were no mass rapings to all my knowledge. If you know otherwise, please name sources ……

      1. rkka

        While Soviet rapes in Germany have long been treated in many English language accounts, both in the scholarly and popular press, the sexual crimes of the Wehrmacht in the USSR has only within the last decade or so had any scholarly treatment.

        One recent source is this:

        Wendy Jo Gertjejanssen, “Victims, Heroes, Survivors: Sexual Violence on the Eastern Front during World War II”
        PhD dissertation, Universoity of Minnesota, 2004

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      It’s always about “Lebensraum” for “the blood” of Teutonic Knights and their “people” — No NWO of the Victorian Holy Roman Reich II-IV without “Lebensraum.” I mean the stock of “Hitler’s Beneficiaries” and “Hitler’s Willing Executioners” from Age to Age NEED their “Living Room” – don’tcha git it?

  5. Leonard "El Drano" Loosemeat

    Re: America is no longer the land of opportunity

    The Jobless Speak

    You is feeling like you is lost in the bush, boy?

    unemployed, job outsourced, down and out

    Cashed that last unemployment check?

    Greet the morning gently with a . . proper Joycean breakfast…relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls . .

    thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart,
    liver slices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencod’s roes, grilled mutton kidneys…

    Now you’re ready to knock’em dead…

    Ace that job interview at Florence Car Wash

    1662 East Florence Avenue, L.A.

    Or Taco Bell, 1457 East Florence Avenue

    If not, then Jiffy Lube, 4777 West Pico Boulevard

    Just one thing: if Ed at Taco Bell

    no longer needs you to deal with the drunks on 3rd shift drivethrough

    remember, when driving from East Florence to West Pico


    Remember what happened last time:

    When you were still gainfully employed and riding high:

  6. Middle Seaman

    The European learned the hard way that war is horrible. Europe, after all, killed more than 100 million human beings in the 20th century. The peace, though, is limited to Europe itself. Outside, the wars of Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and more had European participation. The Europeans are also guilty in prolonging the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. While both peoples support peace at about an equal 70%, the European heavy hand, and a lot of political and financial gains, makes peace so much less appealing. Just go back to your caves European; we had enough of you.

    1. wunsacon

      >> The European learned the hard way that war is horrible.

      Maybe they learned something. But, I’m not sure. Where’s NATO romping around these days?

    2. gordon

      Who is “we”? The US? It’s not hard to find plenty of instances of US-caused noncombatant deaths all the way from the Indians to Vietnam and after. And instances of mass noncombatant slaughter by peoples neither European nor American too, for that matter (how many civilians did the Japanese kill in China in the 1930s and 1940s?). People with a more European orientation are left scratching their heads at the extent of the apparently hypocritical anti-European attitude. Is it just blindness? Is it deliberate? If deliberate, why?

  7. scott

    The “growth vs. state income tax” hit-piece is flawed. The shrinking economies in Washington and Nevada and Florida, due to the debt-fueled housing problems there, skew the data.

    In general, if you tax land not labor you provide a better environment for entrepeneurship. Perhaps the author should visit TX sometime. The capital that was wasted on housing in WA, NV, and FL was instead used for infrastructure and business expansion in TX.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Since the Bloomberg article didn’t provide a link, I looked up the original ITEP article, hoping to find more depth of analysis:

      But no — there’s nothing here other than cartoonish graphical summaries, and some highly-polarized rants against right-wing strawmen such as Arthur Laffer.

      Here is the basic flaw in the ITEP study. Since (as noted in the Bloomberg article) state income taxes are small in relation to the federal income tax, one must use as much data as possible in order to extract a relatively faint signal.

      State income tax data goes back for decades — after all, Laffer first sketched his proverbial curve on a napkin in 1974. Anyone who is seriously interested in how state tax rates affect growth would analyze ALL of the data, and let the chips fall where they may.

      Bottom line, one rather atypical decade doesn’t prove jack, for the advocates of either side in this debate. But cherry picking one decade of data when five or six decades are available is cheap and sleazy — it demonstrates a clear-cut to lie, manipulate and deceive.

      Read the ITEP report linked above for yourself, and see how amateurish and politicized it sounds. What a joke …

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I suspect some links reflect our desire to the world the we wish it to be.

        I also suspect there are lessons to be learned reading links that do the opposite.

  8. Joe

    Brilliant article by Joseph Stiglitz (as usual). I hope that he returns to a leading position in public administration again soon.

  9. Ned Ludd

    Hurled insults.” It makes criticizing someone to their face akin to throwing a rock at them. I never hear this metaphor used in normal conversation. But journalists seem to like it – it allows them to turn protests and criticism of authority figures into “Campus Chaos” and “turmoil”.

      1. Ned Ludd

        Once, at the end of a protest, the last speaker was approaching the stage, people were drifting away, and most people were just chatting about rides home, where to go to grab some food, etc. The police had publicly promised to get tough on us (because we had conducted civil disobedience at an earlier protest), and they did not want to miss their opportunity by letting the protest end peacefully. So they sprayed a bunch of people in the face with pepper spray. Then they grabbed and handcuffed anyone who had been sprayed. In response, people stood around the police cars “hurling insults” – and, well, that was about it.

        I asked one officer why he was arresting someone. I was told to quit asking questions or I would be arrested too.

        The news coverage switched from describing us as peaceful and fun (some neighbourhood kids had even set up a lemonade stand) to describing us as violent hooligans.

        I called the local news channel. The person I talked to brushed me off. I asked, “Don’t you want to hear what happened, from the perspective of the protesters?” The person at the newsroom replied, “If I want to know what happened, I’ll talk to the police.”

  10. aletheia33

    mark ames: “Europeans were bloodthirsty savages. Two world wars ended that.”

    oh really?

  11. jsmith

    “Now it’s just us and the Russians who have the bloodlust, among Northerners at least.”

    Ummm, I really haven’t seen the Russians actively engaging in a worldwide campaign that has literally slaughtered hundreds of thousands of innocent people, detroyed the lives of millions more, completely shredded international law and turned the planet into a war zone, have you, Mr. Ames?

    The United States is a country that is PROVEN to be run by murderous sociopaths.

    If Russia sees fit to attempt to defend itself as we ever and increasingly invade the continent which they call home, so be it.

    SO, Mr. Ames, let’s just fix that sentece for you, kay?

    “Now it’s just us and the ISRAELIS who have the bloodlust, among Northerners at least.”

  12. drb48

    re: Corporate Profits Just Hit An All-Time High, Wages Just Hit An All-Time Low

    “…our current system and philosophy is creating a country of a few million overlords and 300+ million serfs.
    That’s not what has made America a great country. It’s also not what most people think America is supposed to be about.
    So we might want to rethink that.”

    Our “overlords” like things the way they are. Surprisingly, it looks like half of the “serfs” blame their lot on the other half rather than the “overlords”. What are “we” going to do about that?

  13. Jumpjet

    All great powers are bloodthirsty. Empires are built on blood. Any nation that seeks to rule the world can only do so through the killing of people, no matter how sophisticated they purport to be.

    We are seeing it again in Greece. How many will be dead by the time Germany brings them to heel?

    1. Jim

      Why are you blaming Germany?

      Why not blame the Greek pols who have brought their own people to heel. Why not blame the Greek shipping magnates who refuse to pay tax, or the newly formed Greek government which has vowed to allow the shipping magnates to remain exempt from taxation?

  14. Hartzman

    If former New York Fed Chairman and Goldman Sach’s alumni Stephen Friedman knew about secret loans to Goldman in 2008 and 2009, how did he not buy GS with unknown information?

    FINRA, SEC, DOL, CFPB, FTC, FRB, and PCAOB Wells Fargo Whistleblower Filing

    Did Warren Buffet know about Bank of America’s Secret Liquidity Lifelines when Berkshire Hathaway Invested $5 Billion in BAC?

    Updated with some Warren Buffett and Goldman Sachs: “The Fed’s Secret Liquidity Lifelines”: Wachovia Corporation and Wells Fargo & Company

  15. Lambert Strether

    Live tweets on UVA Board meeting on Sullivan.

    * * *

    Big issue, despite the mass of detail because:

    1. Humongous process violations; these days, even to ask for rule- and law-governed behavior by 1%-ers is an act of resistance!

    2. Future of the state (public) university as an institution: How far and how fast can privatization proceed? Can corporatization/privatization be rolled back?

    3. Active agency by awakened students and faculty. Granted, hardly Montreal, but the agency is good.

    And much else!

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      LS, is a bookie taking bets on the “reform” of Dragas long-term? This “making nice” doesn’t bode well for Sullivan’s longevity, considering the muscle still behind Dragas. “Revenge is best served cold.”

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Stress and dementia

    A little stress is probably good. Too much, not to good.

    It’s like water, debt, oxygen, velocity, heat, CO2, and many other things in life.

  17. Susan the other

    The European Atrocity You Never Heard Of. Never wonder why Germans have an ethnic memory of it all. Nor why they are still angry. Distrustful. Obsessive-compulsive. But they have gone forward in a remarkable way, compartmentalizing their own atrocities against communists, Russians, Poles and Jews as well as the atrocities they suffered. It’s true, Europeans were so insane we can now clearly see that their “civilization” was only a smudge of a veneer. So was ours. It will always be a cautionary tale because we are still exploiting each other.

    Merkel Won’t Debt-Share Until There Is a Fiscal Union. No Sex Without a Condom. The Germans still don’t trust the rest of Europe. But they are willing to form a new European government with oversight and structural measures. First a fiscal pact (July) and then Brussels will have fiscal (political) control over national budgets. And only after that will Germany consider debt sharing and stg. like an EZ FDIC. Merkel, “Liability and control have to be in balance.” Then, probably the investments Varoufakis wants will be forthcoming.

    Stiglitz. We need to see through the myths of capitalism. Profit can no longer be derived from exploitation. The failures of the private sector cannot be sheltered from view.

    Profit can no longer be derived from exploitation.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Iterated two player prisoners dilemma.

    If you can force another person to be confined alone with you so the game can be played, you have already achieved your evolutionary dominance.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Hmmm… I read that paper and it had, like, math italics in it so I was helpless when my eyes glazed over.

      * * *

      1. I mean, if I can force somebody into a box, then I’m going to be strong enough to win whatever battle goes on in the box, right? Is that the idea?

      Is that a fair summary?

      That said:

      2. Why does the memory only go back one move? I think in RL, where “revenge is a dish best served cold,” memory of past moves counts for a lot. Is this just another one of those models that keep getting trashed in the modelling permathread?

      3. What’s with the “theory of other minds” thing? (One might argue that sociopaths don’t have a theory of other minds, and so is the moral, let the sociopath force you into a box is you have a theory of mind, because then (contradicting point 1) you get to win?

      * * *

      OK, OK…

  19. Hugh

    Regular opinions are distributed to the various justices. Big decisions tend to go to the swing vote. Kennedy often gets to the write the opinion when he is the swing vote. In the Arizona case, a 5-3 decision, what was unusual was that Roberts was the fifth vote along with Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Breyer, and Kennedy. Kagan recused because of her previous job as Solicitor General. This may have been strategic positioning on Roberts’ part. If he had not voted as he did, it would have been 4-4 and the 9th Circuit opinion ruling against Arizona would have been upheld. In this light, I can see how Roberts might have traded decision writing duties with Kennedy, with Kennedy getting Arizona and Roberts taking the Obamacare decision for himself.

    Oh, and Scalia is a pompous ass and a bitter man. The irony or hypocrisy of Scalia on immigration is that Scalia’s father was born in Sicily. So his is the case of one born to immigrants railing against all these newcomers. Of course, this kind of thing is not just restricted to the likes of Scalia. Remember that Obama’s father was from Kenya and Obama spent the first three years of his Presidency happily pushing ICE to deport 400,000+ a year.

    Re jobs, it’s the demand (or lack of it) that drives hiring, that is when the jobs aren’t offshored. Businesses reacting to the potential “fiscal cliff” sounds like somebody’s doing political positioning. Businesspeople just aren’t that smart or future thinking. I mean if they were, they would have run to the bunkers over Europe 6 months ago.

    So Stiglitz has written a book on inequality. Now when is he going to write ones on kleptocracy and class war? Oh right, never. Stiglitz seems to think that inequality has been going on for only 20 years when wages went flat 35 years ago.

  20. Brent Musburger, Jr. (news anchor)

    Breaking News! This Just In!

    In an emergency meeting, the 16-member University of Virginia Board of Visitors voted to change the University’s name to Strategy Dynamics Solutions Ltd, henceforth a strictly online, for-profit, education provider, under the management of Goldman Sachs’s Education Management Corporation.

    As a cost-saving measure, the Departments of Philosophy, Literature and Art are to be shut down immediately, as well as the Departments of Anthropology, Archaelogy, Dance, Drama, Classics (Greek and Latin), French, German, Italian, Film Studies, Linguistics, Music, etc

    These Departments will be replaced by online courses in Strategy Dynamics and Strategy Dynamic Solutions, built on sound system dynamic principles, time charts of business performance, SD stock accumulation and feedback, the use of micro-worlds to enhance dynamic understanding amongst management, etc

    David Brooks, the NY Times columnist, has been invited to serve as Strategy Dynamic Solutions’ Virtual Visiting Scholar.

    Story developing…

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          As Saul/Paul insisted, as a “follower of Yeshua/Jesus the Jew” who came to save the children of Israel, circumcision is not necessary for Gentile enrollment as a follower of Jesus. I guess this is what enabled the German Romantic claim that Yeshua/Jesus the Jew was not Jewish.

          1. F. Beard

            Sure. Christians don’t have to be circumcised BUT circumcision is a REQUIREMENT for the Jews.

            These are strange times.

  21. Aruba

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