Links 6/7/11

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Bodies with Histories Boston Review. On race. A must read.

Kohr Principles New York Times (Vlad)

Teenager reportedly finds solution to 350 year old math and physics problem PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Science fiction master Ray Bradbury dies Washington Post

Diary: In Fukushia Rebecca Solint London Review of Books (martha r). From last month, still very much worth reading.

China on the Launch Pad Project Syndicate

Is Libya Cracking Up? New York Review of Books (Lambert)

The eurozone’s architects have created a doomsday machine and a gift for speculative capital Marshall Auerback, Credit Writedowns

Greece and the Euro: Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover Truthout

The Sometimes Picayune Harry Shearer, Columbia Journalism Review

“The politics of envy won in Wisconsin and will now accelerate nationwide” Gaius Publius, AmericaBlog

Wisconsin: What Happens When Movements Turn Into Campaigns Black Agenda Report

Variations on “Only Nixon Can Go to China” Mike Kimel, Angry Bear. Be sure to read the last paragraph.

Group Forms to Urge Strict Oversight of Wall Street Floyd Norris, New York Times

The TIPS curve has become inverted Sober Look. Inverted yield curves forecast recessions, but they also can send false positives.

Fed risks diminishing returns with more QE Financial Times

Steve Keen: Why Economics is Bunk BBC Radio 4 (Tim C)

Sorry Jamie Dimon, But You Know Things Are Bad When The Editor Of Vanity Fair Reams You In The July Issue Clusterstock

Federal Reserve set to unveil capital proposals Financial Times. Dimon gets whacked again.

Corzine’s first sin was to bet on MF Global John Gapper, Financial Times

Officers shoot homeowner being evicted from foreclosed house KMOV (Max)

D.C. Council Chairman Charged with Bank Fraud Legal Times. This is how your Department of Justice is spending its time: prosecuting someone for lying on a home equity loan. And if the accused has a competent attorney, he’ll probably be acquitted. Why? Odds are high this was a no income verification loan. The lender didn’t want or use the info.

New York, Delaware Can Intervene In Bank Of America Deal Bloomberg

CALIFORNIA STATEWIDE MORATORIUM ON HOME FORECLOSURES: RALLY AND MARCH June 25. If you are a California resident, I hope you’ll consider going.

Manufacturing Public Opinion Global Economic Intersection

* * *

Lambert here:

D – 93 and counting*

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” –Aleister Crowley

Reader note: Because I’m on the road today and tomorrow, these links are a bit lighter. Also too I’m skipping Robama and Obomney.

Montreal. Amir Khadir, MNA handcuffed and arrested: “There are two weights, two measures.” [W]hile peaceful demonstrators are handcuffed, Liberal ministers meeting Mafia figures for breakfast fundraisers and engineering consulting firms working around Quebec’s party financing law to contribute to Charest’s Liberals, do not get the same treatment. Suggestion: Why not make casserole night official Festivals? “Quebec-style pots and pans protests are spreading to several American cities, with dozens of activists arrested in New York City and Chicago during marches to support the Quebec student movement Wednesday evening.” It isn’t even past: “A wave of suspicious packages [putatively] from the ‘Forces armées révolutionnaires du Québec’ [very 60s] landed in the mailboxes of various high-profile people and organizations Wednesday morning.” They contain baking soda. For the fridge? Can’t the Sûreté spring for anthrax, like they do in the Great Republic to the South?

CA. Fullerton: Recall campaign “driven in part by the death of a homeless man who was beaten by police has ended with the removal of three City Council members from office.” San Diego, Tinpot Tyrant Watch: “… a 14-camera security system funded by DHS that [is] being placed around Mission Bay on city light poles, atop lifeguard structures and on boat ramps.” CA-52 primary: “[Scott Peters] has a 645-vote lead over fellow D Lori Saldana, who on Wednesday was refusing to concede the race.” Team Sheyman backs Saldana. C-31: “With 100 percent of precincts reporting in California’s 31st District, two Rs lead a field of six candidates.” In CA’s new top-two system, that means no D candidate. Well done. “As has been shown in Louisiana and Washington, top-two systems make it far easier for incumbents to be re-elected than normal systems do.”

MA. “[T]he Scott Brown campaign is running circles around Elizabeth Warren on tactics.” Hey, I’ve got Team lyla Sheyman team on the line!

MI. MI Medicaid director on Obamacare: “[T]hose who are much more familiar with the specifics will have to make some decisions about whether we can actually achieve the milestones.”

MO. Nurses! “I spent a couple of decades working traumas. I’ve held millionaires down stripped them naked and performed invasive procedures whether they liked it or not just like I have street people, junkies, gang-bangers and whores. I know in graphic details that we’re all just meat, and that includes the most powerful people on earth. ”

NJ. The winner, “Pascrell registered thousands of new voters in Passaic County” (Strange behavior for a D, and unlike WI!).

NM. NM-1: “When a Super PAC that backed Griego attacked Grisham on poor care at Fort Bayard Medical Center, including deaths of elderly patients, Grisham responded with a withering attack on Griego’s past, including multiple bench warrants for failure to appear in court for traffic violations.” Team Sheyman loses another one.

NY. Tinpot Tyrant Watch: “The judge said the officer rushed forward and, using the upper edge of his hand, delivered a sharp blow to the judge’s throat.” Ugh. “Secret History Of Sexual Predators” At Horace Mann

OR. Pitch A Tent 2: “They are saying it is okay to camp for recreation, but if you are one of the thousands of people in Portland without housing or shelter you will be fined and harassed for erecting a structure for survival.”

TN “[S]imply trying to restate a liberal Janus-faced approach that invites charters, but not too many charters, is setting oneself up to be beat in the future.”

VA. Loudon creche battle: “I have requested that the editor replace the word “storm troopers”, which I was using as a metaphor, with the word ‘member.'” Fairfax DPVA convention: “Chaos erupted on the floor.” Gruesome read.

WI. Job’s comforters: Barney Frank: “picked a fight they shouldn’t have picked.” Ed Rendell: “dumb political fight.” D operative Begala: “I don’t think it would have made the difference. But it’s kind of like Thanksgiving at your in-laws. If you go, it doesn’t guarantee it’s going to be fun, but if you don’t go there’s going to be hell to pay.”

BAR. If you haven’t read this, read it: “Political campaigns are pretty much where movements go to die, get betrayed or are stillborn.” And: “Though they had a whole year to plan, neglected to do the labor-intensive ground game of massive voter registration in poor and minority communities. They spent their relatively scarce dollars on media instead.” So not GOTV vs. money. Kos: “Turns out people just didn’t like the idea of a recall—something worth filing away as an important lesson learned.” Wrong: Recalls often succeed. And wrong. Not recalls, this recall: “Nearly 6 in 10 Wisconsin voters said that recall elections were appropriate only for official misconduct.” Athenae: “This hasn’t ended, if only because things like this don’t end, and we have some people to thank for that. ” Mish: “It’s time to implement national right-to-work laws and put an end to public union collective bargaining nationally.” Those exit polls, shorter: Early results are early.

AFT Official: “It’s pretty clear that the voices of ordinary citizens are at permanent risk of being drowned out by uninhibited corporate spending.” Why no voter registration, then? Lori Compas: “We need to get money out of politics.” Or we need to get more people in. Again, voter registration? Pierce: “Very soon, there is not going to be a single political campaign, no matter how small, that directly affects anything having to do with America’s corporate power, which is practically everything, that will not be swamped by anonymous cash laundered through bagmen organized under the banner of some nobly monickered political whorehouse.” And registration? Obama Campaign Manager Messina: “Money swung the election.” Registration?!

The slap: “The woman [who slapped Barrett], who was immediately identified, was upset that Barrett was conceding while people were still trying to vote.” That upsets me, too. “The governor planned to meet with his cabinet Wednesday and then to invite all members of the Legislature to meet as soon as next week over burgers, brats and ‘maybe a little bit of good Wisconsin beer.'” WaPo’s Meyerson reframes: “Walker remains governor, but Ds complete a stunning, unprecedented three-seat swing of the state senate to grab the majority there.” “The numbers showed a surprising amount of partisan crossover between the recall race and the presidential race — in Obama’s and Walker’s favor.” Too bad labor’s leaders aren’t openly gay. If they were, they’d have asked Obama if he wanted to lose WI in November. And then they’d have made their threat stick. Na ga happen.

Inside Baseball. CJR on DC shopper Politico’s media bias story: “more like the work of a political consulting team, not media critics—and certainly not journalists.” Pierce on DC shopper Politico WI wrap: “I mean, honestly, it took three people to write this? Was one of them in charge of prepositions?” “Buffett may be the poster child for President Obama’s tax plan, but the investment tycoon insists he is not a ‘card-carrying Democrat.’” Harold Meyerson: “Before unions, the common form of protest for workers seeking a better life was rioting.” A man’s home is his Reichstag.**

Green Party. CA primary: Stein, 48.6%; Barr, 40.0%. Stein on ABC News (!), asked about a libertarian Veep: “That’s a really interesting thought,” Stein said. “Many people have suggested that we pair up with a libertarian.”

Jawbs. Obama’s economic options: “What’s missing are proposals to try to boost consumer demand.” “When asked whether the worst economic news is ‘behind us’ or ‘yet to come’, a majority think the worst is yet to come.’

Grand Bargain™-brand Catfood Watch. Clive Crook, idiot (in the Greek sense): “Congress needs to combine budgetary ease in the short run with a credible commitment to reduce debt in the long run. Neither is any use without the other. The blueprint for this exists in the Simpson-Bowles plan.” How does a popularly elected legislature achieve a “credible commitment” to our banksters? They’ll game it!

Robama vs. Obomney. Thumbsucker from Tomasky: “Romney will portray Obama as unequipped to revive the economy and cut the deficit. Obama will paint Romney as an elitist who will bring back supply-side policies with a vengeance.” True and true!

* 93 days ’til the Democratic National Convention feasts on rice and beans on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. The number 93 is of great significance to Aleister Crowley.

** For the irony challenged, the reference is to a well-known false flag operation.

* * *

Antidote du jour:

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    1. skippy

      The dollar defended to the last drop of blood the 99% own* (*its really all they do).

      Skippy…Murican Exceptionalism is like a big red button… it just screams… push me!!!

  1. jimmyj

    re:Jill Stein:“Many people have suggested that we pair up with a libertarian.”
    Not me. Not ever. Apologies to Stoller and Co., but I dont see the libertarians as helpful in any way whatsoever other than perhaps as a legislative fair weather friend. Decent hippies give those guys way too much credit.

      1. Aquifer

        Don’t read too much into that quote:

        Interesting idea – well, yes it is, doesn’t mean she necessarily thinks it’s a good one ….

        Many people have suggested – well yes, they probably have, but doesn’t mean she will ….

        Most important thing is getting her on the ballot in all or most of the states and getting numbers up in the polls to get in debates – if she got into debates she could mop the floor with the others …

        1. jimmyj

          You got a point there. Rainbow-powered rage diminishing as we speak. Sometimes it is easy to forget the importance of diplomacy.

      2. Walter Wit Man

        C’mon. This is not honest analysis.

        Libertarians reject ALL of the Green platform? Wrong. They actually share more of the platform than probably either the Republican or Democrat parties so it makes more sense to get a crossover from a libertarian rather than Democrat or Republican.

        There is a concerted effort by members of the elite to drive a wedge betwen libertarians and leftists and it is no accident one sees comments like this when the subject comes up.

        1. Kim Kaufman

          Libertarians seem to identify similar problems as progressives (as does the Communist Party) it’s just that their solutions seem to be terrible: more free market (or violent overthrow of the government)

          1. Walter Wit Man

            So libertarians promote the free market, whereas Republicans and Democrats do not?

            I agree libertarians fetishize markets. But our entire system and both parties are equally guilty of this. At least libertarians are earnestly wrong on this issue, unlike the Democrats who are deceptive and support the same policies as the libertarians but lie to their supporters about their intentions. In fact, libertarians work with Democrats (unofficial) on many policy issues, like stealing Social Security, but at least the libertarians are up front with their goals. Instead of educating Americans by fighting for liberal policies like Medicare for All Democrats spend political capital justifying libertarian beliefs–like fear of the public debt.

            Also, characterizing people who self-identify as libertarians as wanting to violently overthrow the government is a cheap shot. It’s scaremongering much in the way anarchists and communists are scaremongered. Libertarians do advocate more limited government. And guess what? They are absolutely right that limiting the fascist police and war powers of our government is one of the most crucial problems we face. It’s *intersting* that liberals want to shoot about the ony political allies they have on this issue.

        2. MAUDE

          Maybe because the ‘Leader’ of the Libertarian movement is a sham. He is no libertarian. It’s hard to take libertarians seriously when they are taken in by a man who only uses their platform to advance his own. Ron Paul only spouts libertarian beliefs when it provides a path to his own ends.

          1. cwaltz


            Ron Paul is perfectly content to restrict individual liberties for women (on choice)or gays (on marriage) or for that matter for most minorities. He’s only interested in a “free market” for business.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Is she the “official” third-party candidate? Are we tired of “TINA?” Force-fed?

      1. Aquifer

        She is an official third party candidate, and, IMO, the best of the bunch. How well she does will depend, to a great extent, on how well the TINA BS can be debunked in people’s minds and how ready they are to vote for what they want and need as opposed to what the MSM has told them is the best they can get ….

        1. psychohistorian

          That “Best they can get…..”. drum has been beating for some time now.

          And its only going to get worse between now and the election.

          How much freedom are people willing to give up top avoid real change?

    2. Walter Wit Man

      Do you say the same about Democrats?

      Leftists probably share more with libertarians than they do Democrats, so I think it’s worth exploring a coalition.

      The masters have successfully driven a wedge between the lower classes and breaking that down is helpful. For instance, both groups opposed the banker bailouts like TARP, they both want an end to imperial wars, and end to civil liberty violations like spying, to end the war on drugs, and to end the Fed.

      Some libertarian ideology is dangerous. But they aren’t as dangerous as Democrats.

  2. Sophie Johanssen

    Counterpunch is leading with the same Paul Craig Roberts article (linked to by YesMaybe above) although they’ve changed the title:

    The Economy Comes Unglued (Collapse at Hand):

    And here’s an excerpt:

    “Everyone wants a solution, so I will provide one. The US government should simply cancel the $230 trillion in derivative bets, declaring them null and void. As no real assets are involved, merely gambling on notional values, the only major effect of closing out or netting all the swaps (mostly over-the-counter contracts between counter-parties) would be to take $230 trillion of leveraged risk out of the financial system. The financial gangsters who want to continue enjoying betting gains while the public underwrites their losses would scream and yell about the sanctity of contracts. However, a government that can murder its own citizens or throw them into dungeons without due process can abolish all the contracts it wants in the name of national security. And most certainly, unlike the war on terror, purging the financial system of the gambling derivatives would vastly improve national security.”

    1. Aquifer

      Sure this could be done – but wouldn’t be under an Dem/Rep admin ….

      Example – under auto bailout, unions’ contracts were gutted to “save” the industry, but financial firms salary and bonus packages were left intact under bank bailout deal because of “sacredness of contract” ….

      So, sure it could be done – but whether it would be depends on whose stuff is being “spread” and derivatives contract holders are the stuff of which the duopoly sandwich is made …

  3. Jim Haygood

    ‘From a practical perspective, the trip to China has to be undertaken now, or not at all.’ — Angry Bear

    Kimel is invoking the ‘Nixon to China’ metaphor. But meanwhile, this morning present-day China cut its policy interest rate by a quarter point, the first rate cut since 2008. And this rate cut follows three cuts in the reserve ratio over the past year.

    With Brazil furiously slashing interest rates as its economy slows to a crawl, and the Reserve Bank of India expected to initiate a rate cut cycle on June 18th as India’s economy slows, a possible emerging market crisis (of the sort described by Michael Pettis in The Volatility Machine, 2001) is taking shape.

    In particular, capital flight from both emerging economies and overindebted developed economies appears to be accelerating.

    If Spain is choking on a busted real estate bubble, just imagine what an immensely larger stock of nonperforming property loans in China could do to its bank solvency.

    In the developed world, recessions often provoke voters to oust the ruling party. In China, where there’s only one ruling party, this becomes an existential threat. ‘64.89,’ comrades!

    p.s. What’s Michael Pettis saying these days?

    1. Jim Haygood

      Correction — India started its rate cut cycle in April, according to Bloomberg:

      The RBI cut rates on April 17 for the first time in three years, after raising it a record 13 times from mid-March 2010 to October last year to cool prices.

      [India’s] gross domestic product expanded 5.3 percent last quarter, the least in nine years, stoking concern the nation’s economic outlook has deteriorated as policy gridlock deters investment and Europe’s debt crisis crimps exports.

      The slowdown and an oil-price drop suggest more room for interest-rate cuts even as inflation risks remain, Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor Subir Gokarn said June 1 and reiterated his position on June 4.

      Brazil, India and China all cutting rates together as growth flags suggests that the emerging market boom is headed for a bust. It was ever thus …

    2. skippy


      I don’t think China is scared of any of it. Their people and history have steeled them for the most tangent possibility’s.

      Skippy… they still have that C-130 on display and lots of empty city’s.

  4. Leviathan

    Wisconsin wasn’t about public unions running roughshod over taxpayers? It was about “the politics of envy?” Even if I concede this point (which I’m not inclined to do), this is a mere difference in phraseology. But it is instructive all the same.

    It amounts to the losing anti-Walker side yet again spitting in the face of the private sector majority, saying “you’re just JEALOUS of me!” It is bizarre to see this meme continue in the face of the public drubbing the Dems just took. But I guess nothing surprises me anymore.

    I hope people will see through the attempt to rewrite history that is currently going on with the Wisconsin story. It WAS about public sector unions being brought to heel by politicians who DO respond to voter/taxpayer pleas for help.

    Public sector unions are desperate for this not to be about them, but it is. They are also falsely equating themselves with unions as a whole. I think a lot of people who voted for Walker would support private sector unions, or even public sector unions without absolute control over the public purse.

    1. YesMaybe

      If you ask me (which you didn’t), Walker’s victory was about the overwhelming victory of money power. Even if you were to argue he would have won without outspending his opponent 8 to 1, the significance of their having spent $30m vs $4m remains. Some commentators view this as the demise of progressive politics. But I don’t, because Obama killed progressive politics (or what was left of it) even before Citizens United.

      1. Leviathan

        Sure I did. Anyone who posts here is asking his neighbors what they think. So feel free.

        As for the money, I won’t say it was inconsequential. Quite the contrary. But the vast majority of people were well informed already. They needed a dollop of outrage/passion/inspiration to get out the door and vote.

        Money is a blunt tool that cannot buy victory. Look at Meg Whitman or the Wrestlemania widow who lost big in Nevada.

        It’s hard to prove that Walker would have won without the money deluge from out of state, but it’s quite likely so. The difference was in the margin. How much did it cost to get a hundred thousand MORE votes? $2m? $5m?

        Money is much more decisive (and corrupting) in national elections. On a state and local level it still comes down to the candidate and the operation. My two cents.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think we csn all agree on the power of money, generally speaking.

          The question I have is this: Is it better to put money on a first term president, since he/she will still need your money to get a second term or on a second term president who is less likely to need your money after she/he is re-elected?

        2. psychohistorian

          Since we have now heard that the election turned on the issue of appropriateness of recall election as tool, I ask:
          1. How did that issue make the difference?,
          2. Was their money spent by folk to work that issue?
          3. What did that $30 million get spent on saying to the public?

          Just askin

      2. Lambert Strether

        On the “We did it with wealth” narrative: I’m not so sure. Read the BAR post. He argues it’s voter registration that’s the missing piece, and note the link at NJ that shows you can do that and win. Note also how the money narrative reinforces the Rs (basically, a Big Swingin’ D*** trope) but more subtly reinforces professional Ds. After all, if you were in the business of raising money, especially online, and you took a cut from each dollar raised, wouldn’t you be anxious to define money as the problem?

        Not saying that money isn’t good to have, but ask yourself what, exactly, the money narrative reinforces.

        1. Kim Kaufman

          I also think it’s a failure of labor to show the majority of people (who are not in unions) why unions matter. In fact, what have unions done in the last 10, 20 years besides lose members and give millions to the Democratic Party?

    2. Cletus

      I don’t think we need public sector unions. The middle class, generally, however, would probably benefit from a strong union/labor political presence.

      I’m sick to death of middle class folks asking why their governmentally-employed neighbor has a pension, instead of why they, themselves, being privately employed, don’t.

      And this in the face of unimaginable income and wealth disparity.

      Orwell had it right: Labor is like Boxer in Animal Farm.

      1. Dan

        “I’m sick to death of middle class folks asking why their governmentally-employed neighbor has a pension, instead of why they, themselves, being privately employed, don’t.”

        I couldn’t agree more. But remember, Barrett also didn’t raise this issue. Barrett didn’t offer a vision of a better standard of living for everyone. Just a vision of a better standard of living for union, government employees. The choices were: support increased public employee benefits (at taxpayer expense) or support decreased public employee benefits (at savings to taxpayers). There was no Option 3: better living standard for all by ending pro-corporate, anti-worker policies. If either party would lay out that vision, they would win in a landslide, I suspect.

        However, the Democrats both in Wisconsin and nationally have done nothing to benefit the working person (if you can still find him to ask), they just benefit their corporate friends while trying to push the rest of us on to the limited welfare that remains. That’s why I suspect Obama will lose, just as Barrett did.

        1. spooz

          This is one argument I can’t win with my libertarian friends. If we had universal health care and everybody got social security we wouldn’t need unions, imo.

          1. Lambert Strether

            So (serious question and not irony) what do your libertarian friends feel about single payer and government retirement? Milton Friedman, IIRC, supported single payer. Frame it as handling the back office functions centrally…

            Would they compromise for ending the empire?

        2. Leviathan

          Spot on. It’s quite galling to be told that your 50-something neighbor’s golden pension is a moral victory for the 99% against the tyranny of the oligarchs.

      2. Accrued Disinterest

        A good question to ask, but you’ve summarized it in reverse. Their pensions have been sucked to the top of the pyramid, so they wouldn’t or shouldn’t be victimizing their governmentally employed neighbors.

        And you’ve also missed another important piece of mechanics in the Wisconsin vote; the majority in the state senate swung back to the Democrats effectively stopping any further Walkerism.

          1. Accrued Disinterest

            And assuming the Dem’s behave like Dem’s. You know what they say about assumptions though, eh?

      3. EmilianoZ

        Cletus: “I’m sick to death of middle class folks asking why their governmentally-employed neighbor has a pension, instead of why they, themselves, being privately employed, don’t.”

        The pensioned people are not known for fighting or supporting the fight of their unpensioned brothers. They just mainly cling selfishly to their advantage.

        I’m not shocked that others want to take it away from them. It’s actually a reasonable strategy. The French would probably call that “la politique du pire”. Make things worse for the greatest number of people so that in the end a revolution will be necessary.

        The 1% being shrewd, the last civil servants to keep their privilege will be the cops. That’s were the future jobs are gonna be. At some point we’ll probably hire half the population to watch the other half. Do whatever you want, but dont get caught in the wrong side.

        Cheer up, people! Let us all join some Police Academy!

    3. ambergris for me

      A lot of people would have voted for ILO Conventions 87, 98 and 122, too. Only they didn’t get to, because Dems and the GOP collude to keep that off the menu with their phony bullshit electoral politics. So corporate shills, we thank you for crushing the quisling Dems: in the future they will be less able to divert and neutralize authentic public participation.

    4. ciwood

      Here is a quote from FDR agreeing with you.

      Message From FDR

      Inquiring minds are reading snips from a Letter from FDR Regarding Collective Bargaining of Public Unions written August 16, 1937.

      All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management.

      The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations.

      Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees.

      A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable.

      Quote is from this website.

      1. billions

        Thanks for the nice old letter from the dead guy that doesn’t apply. Supreme law of the land supersedes it, CCPR Article 22 clause 1. Everyone, even corporate toadies. It’s the law. Suck it.

      2. Walter Wit Man

        See, this is why I love and hate Mish. Great job pointing to that FDR quote.

        Interesting to compare/contrast what Hitler was doing to what FDR was doing during the 30s.

        But Mish is anti-worker and serves the interests of capital.

        Yes, the Democrats were never particularly socialist. They exempted huge areas of the economy from their supposed worker protections.

      3. Walter Wit Man

        And Obama has the same position.

        Obama doesn’t want to allow federal workers to unionize, just like FDR.

        But he suckered Democrats into fighting to unionize Wisconsin as a distraction.

    5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      For some, it may be from envy and for others, maybe it’s not.

      Just like the 99% movement. The 1% like to think it’s all based on envy – they probably say that to themselves at their fancy parties. Perhaps some are, but I know many of us here feel that’s not us.

      1. Leviathan

        Sure there’s envy in the mix. How could there not be? But the larger issue is that the economic and political distortions of the new hyper-inequality in this country are undermining our future, killing our democracy, and feeding into a potential societal death spiral.

        Acknowledge the envy, but then move beyond it.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That’s what the 1% want you to believe – it’s ALL envy. Like you say, it’s mixture of things. We do better trying to understand those who disagree with us instead of this.

          1. Lambert Strether

            I don’t envy the rich a bit. I read about the lives they lead and it makes me want to throw up. I’d just like to be able to fix my teeth, for example, while I’m still able to pass for middle class.

    6. BillG

      A bad day for the public unions and politicians but a good day for the american people. It makes no sense for public employees to make huge amounts more in pay and benefits than their private sector counterparts. We currently have public pensions for these folks where the net present value is greater than the entire sum of their pay over their whole careers. federal workers pay is almost 150% of private sector pay. Politicians run wild need to be politicians restrained and kicked out of office.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Define “huge,” for pity’s sake. In a civilized society, union benefits would be the baseline. Decent health care, for example, would not be merely aspirational.

        It’s amazing* to me that the people yammering about union benefits have nothing whatever to say about the grotesque salaries of the theiving buffoons at the top of the food chain. Clawing their loot back would save a lot of lives. Peasant lives, true, therefore only valuable to non-Randroids, but still.

        NOTE * Well, it’s not amazing if such commenters are trolls. Then it’s perfectly reasonable, indeed expected. When ideas are bad, you have to pay people well to shill for them.

  5. Yan Herreras

    The story about the teenager resolving the math problem has already been debunked, about 5 days ago.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That’s too bad.

      Still it’s possible a teeanger could have done it, which leads to the question – if one day, a teenager comes along and shows he can unite the country, why is he not allowed to be president under the current un-progressive system?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Interesting. A teenage leader…of a police state. I will definitelycheck it out. Thanx.

  6. Student

    The best demonstration of the meaninglessness of race would be a country where Africans have their own
    country that is prosperous, peaceful and has a high education level and produces art and culture that is emulated worldwide.

    Still looking for one based on those criteria.
    Anyone help me?

    1. Aquifer

      Gotta admit i am a bit sketchy on details – but there were, i do believe, off the top of my head a couple, at least, pre colonial African cultures that would qualify ….

      Western colonialism squashed much of African culture and has done the most it could to flush it down the drain …

    2. Mel

      There’s a documentary series that circulates on PBS: _Lost Kingdoms of Africa_. There was a major nation in the territory now called Chad, in the early days of world Islam, ISTR. Foreign trade selling gold to Europe and Western Asia. Timbuktu was a big university city, possibly on the scale of Samarkand or Bokhara. Happening place.

      Edward Gibbon mentions a time when an Ethiopian army held the balance of power in the Middle East.

    3. BillyD

      Ancient Egypt… though there aren’t really contemporary examples that I can think of.

  7. F. Beard

    Experts say Yates and others in this town of about 38,000 southeast of Columbus are on the leading edge of a frightening new drug abuse trend – one that is ironically being fueled by a national crackdown on prescription painkillers. While new regulations and law enforcement efforts have significantly reduced the supply of these drugs, they say, those efforts have inadvertently driven many users to another type of opiate that is cheap, powerful and perhaps even more destructive – heroin. from

    What is it about our society that requires so much pain relief in the first place? And if people need relief then why deny it to them?

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      “THE OPIUM WARS” are against US instead of China this time. A moveable feast.

    2. citalopram

      Yeah, I can only imagine who much willpower our ancestors had in overcoming pain. My sister is addicted to these things, and they limit the amount she gets. The end result is that she goes through withdrawals before she gets he next prescription.

      1. F. Beard

        I can only imagine who much willpower our ancestors had in overcoming pain. citalopram

        Maybe not. My understanding is that opium and cocaine were readily available before 1904 in the US and that addicts held down jobs and raised families too.

        The irony is that the Bible says this:

        Give strong drink to him who is perishing,
        And wine to him whose life is bitter.
        Let him drink and forget his poverty
        And remember his trouble no more.

        Open your mouth for the mute,
        For the rights of all the unfortunate.
        Open your mouth, judge righteously,
        And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.
        Proverbs 31:6-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

        One can argue that drugs were not in view in the above but how in God’s Name was Prohibition of Alcohol justified by Christians?

        1. TK421

          Well they put cocaine in Coca-Cola, didn’t they?

          Part of this, I believe, is that we have an addictive society. If a little is good, a lot should be great!!!

    3. Walter Wit Man

      Then trend also coincides with the U.S. attack and occupation of Afghanistan and by far the world’s largest opium market.

      I would like to see a media study of the treatment of heroin over the last 15 years or so; I wouldn’t be surprised to see subtle encouragement to use heroin in the media over that period.

  8. Eureka Springs

    Help an awful lot of union folk out and countless (because they aren’t counted) other workers by tripling the minimum wage. It’s way past time to go around unions… at least until they get a spine which includes abandonment of and contempt for the aristocratic D party.

    A ,mangey dog party could both register voters like never seen before and win on a sincere platform which includes, you know, almost everyone.

  9. Eureka Springs

    I would like to add establishing health care as a human right with tri-care or single payer to the all inclusive platform.

    After reading the BAR link, I had no idea it is illegal for union leaders to advocate general strikes. Yes indeed, we must help unions and many millions more by going around them.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Isn’t it amazing that unions haven’t done the hard job of educating Americans on this subject?

      Both business and workers in this country should be for single payer or socialized medicine because it would lower their costs. But for *some reason* neither group takes a strong position in favor of this obvious benefit to both their constituencies.

      Shows you who they really work for.

      1. TK421

        Single payer would provide some help to many businesses but would destroy a few businesses, and since the 1% actually believes in class solidarity they all oppose it.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Yeah, I should have clarified that.

          It helps primarily the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, and also probably certain providers of medical care. These are huge interest groups and huge segment of our economy.

          But most business not in these fields would benefit from single payer as it would reduce their worker costs and provide more security for workers. It seems it would make most American businesses more competitive, at least those not in the most directly effected fields.

          Oh, another impact most people don’t realize (or at least I haven’t explored), is the effect on litigation. I think it would drastically reduce the damages in personal injury lawsuits. I don’t know if this is a good or bad thing though.

          Of course the people whose have insurance or insurance related jobs would suffer under a new system because most of them would lose their jobs.

          1. Walter Wit Man

            Oops, single payer HURTS the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries, of course.

    2. BillyD

      “Healthcare as a human right” is kind of meaningless at best and would have very negative consequences if followed to its logical end at worse.

      The definition of healthcare is completely nebulous. Healthcare could include a million different things… some critical and most nice to have (emergency care, general care, long term convalescence, child development, preventative medicine, diet and exercise, etc)? Do you have the right to all available treatments regardless of cost / your age / condition? What if the system runs out of money… then what? How much time has to pass without being seen by a doctor before your rights have been violated? What about items that I personally wouldn’t include (contraception, “alternative” medicine, supplements, plastic surgery, etc).

      The biggest problem with healthcare as a human right is that it requires another human to administer. What if there are not enough doctors to service the demand? What if doctors do not want to work for the pay being offered? In both these cases… people are denied their “human rights” because it is unavailable. Are you going to force doctors into servitude so that someone can exercise their “Human right” (obviously completely stomping on the doctors human rights).

      I am just curious how you resolve this issue with your view of the world.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        We all deserve a basic level of health care. As you point out, determining what is provided will be the sticky issue.

        We could easily adopt this more efficient and fair system–single payer and/or socialized medicine. But our masters would rather profit off of our sickness so they are preventing us from enacting single payer/socialized medicine.

        Therefore we need to demand it. Or take it.

        Call it a right. Whatever. Fuck these corporate rats sucking the lifeblood out of this nation.

    1. Susan the other

      Yes he does and it asks the frustrating question, What are we doing? We know this would be one method to improve the situation. We choose, politically, to do nothing. Why is nothing even a choice? Congress should be required to act in behalf of the people. Bernanke only says that if the economy gets worse he will infuse it with more monetary relief. Bizarre. And Romney takes full advantage of Obama by accusing him of being incapable of dealing with a full economic meltdown. Romney – the man who got rich taking on impossible debt and selling out before a collapse, time and time again. We have no government.

  10. Aquifer

    The piece on race as a social, as opposed to a biological, construct – gotta admit I have subscribed to that for over 20 years – stuck my neck out as a 1L by refusing to do an assignment based on my belief it required the assumption that race was an “inherent characteristic” ….

    There is only one human “race” – so on any questionnaire that asks you to assign yourself or others, just write “human” …

    Does denying the existence of “race” as a legitimate construct get rid of racism? Of course not – but if we started, from the get go, to teach that it is just another construct used by some groups of people to screw other groups of people, instead of an “inherent characteristic”, it would be easier to make other “choices” ….

    1. F. Beard

      There is only one human “race” – so on any questionnaire that asks you to assign yourself or others, just write “human” … Aquifer

      Agree! One must look very hard in the Bible for even a hint of racism. In the Bible, people and peoples ARE judged by their character and not physical appearance.

      1. Lidia

        Beard, you are SO full of it… Most of that wacko book is obsessed with TRIBES. Time and again, the psycho god character smites, or causes others to smite, thousands of innocents just because they belong to the wrong tribe.

      2. skippy


        21Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” 23But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.” 24He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” 27She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

        Skippy… that’s a racist perspective.

      1. Aquifer

        Of course the biological and social interact, but that what has that got to do with “race” as commonly understood?

    2. alex

      What could have been a good article on serious genetic, medical, biological and epidemiological questions was marred by sensationalistically emphasizing social issues of race. To add insult to injury, philosophical sounding terms like “anti-essentialist” were thrown in.

      In medical and biological work people are asked their race (and often their more specific ethnicity) because it’s a very crude but very easy to ascertain indicator of the probability of having certain genetic traits. It’s the only situation in which I will answer “official” questions about my race and ethnicity because it does serve some scientific purpose. It is _not_ a matter of “hidden racism” or some other such nonsense.

      For example, if both parents of a child are Ashkenazi, it does unfortunately mean there is a far greater possibility of the child having Tay-Sachs (more exactly it occurs most frequently in the Eastern European Ashkenazi Jewish population, French Canadians of southeastern Quebec and Cajuns of southern Louisiana).

      Moreover the difficulty of deciding whether nature or nurture is more an issue for a given situation is hardly new to epidemiologists. Even in the far more racist early 20th century America that was understood, and so allowed epidemiologists to determine that the lower rate of pellagra amongst African Americans was due to different cultural (cooking) practices rather than genetic differences.

      Something that is fairly new is our increasing understanding of epigenetics, which is a very hot research field. Unfortunately the article buried that interesting and useful information by concentrating on “race”.

    3. EmilianoZ

      That’s a great piece. Yves sure knows how to choose the links.

      I’m no biologist and I’ve never heard of epigenetics before. What it seems to say is that there can exist some degree of inheritability to acquired traits, which is deemed impossible in the classical theory. But because it is not the genes that are affected, it should be reversible when the circumstances improve.

      1. alex

        Epigenetics is fascinating stuff and a very hot research topic. Do read up on it if you have any interest. But this is hardly the first article to discuss it, and it does so in a way that is buried under all sorts of talk about distractions like “race”. A quick Internet search will yield much better articles on epigenetics.

      2. psychohistorian

        I agree about it being a great piece.

        It comes down to layers and levels of adaptability. At some point there are gene changes but that’s one gene in a dynamic system that is at all sorts of other levels of adaptability in other areas.

        We are our bodies.

  11. jsmith

    Regarding pension envy:

    It’s probably because the common person can’t even imagine having a ten million dollar salary that makes them want to attack the fact that their neighbors are receiving a good contractual pension worth tens of THOUSANDS of dollars.

    It’s quite another to read all the idiotic libertardian horsesh*t that comes out of the mouth-breathers who post here defending taking away workers’ pensions.

    Granted that the unions as they exist currently are bourgeois functionaries whose sole purpose is to keep the masses mollified long enough so that the elite can continue to steal.

    Does that mean worker solidarity and unions are therefore bad ideas?

    Of course not.

    But in the reptilian binary brain of the libertardian, one bad egg spoils the whole lot.

    Just as our current fascist government is rightfully pervceived to be an abomination, to the libertardian this means that ALL FORMS OF GOVERNMENT are therefore bad and to be obliterated.

    Fiat currency system given us some problems?

    ALL FIAT systems should therefore be abandoned scream the tarders!!

    You neighbor is getting a benefit that you don’t have?

    EVERY AND ALL benefits should be therefore abolished!!

    I won’t even comment on the irony of the unintended consequence of this line of thought in that I guess what libertardians are really trying to say is that everyone should be equal, huh? Everyone gets the same level of misery, eh?

    Gee, what philosophy also talks about equality and people sharing? Forget it.

    Why do libertardians feel this way?

    Well, the clever libertardian will throw crap numbers around, specious sophistry and – usually – infantile ad hominem attacks (at least try and be witty, won’t you?) all in an attempt to hide the fact that they are TO A PERSON greedy motherf*ckers who really should have nothing to say about visions of future societies as they are still wearing rubber pants intellectually.

    I mean, really, did any of you read the post yesterday where the USPS worker voted for Walker just so his own SISTER wouldn’t receive health benefits?!!

    Whether it’s the fact that the libertardian mind is too weak to reason or too weak so as to be that much more suceptible to the corporate propaganda, it really boils down to this:

    Libertardians are not acting like human beings.

    They are settling for the worst traits in humanity, taking them as a necessary given and then incorporating the worst of these traits into some imbecilic hodgepodge vision of how society should run.

    Humans are sometimes greedy.

    Therefore EVERYONE needs a f*cking gun at all times.

    Humans sometimes are callous.

    Therefore EVERYONE should be assumed to be uncaring and every one should only look out for their own.

    All of those other parts of being a human being such as empathy, compassion, peacefulness, etc?

    F*ck em, since I’m a greedy f*cking assh*le libertardian I can only imagine other people being as greedy and ugly a person as I am therefore we have to build a society based on ME!

    I mean, if libertardians thought for a second that in reality the rest of humanity WASN’T as greedy and ugly as they were – why – where would that leave them?

    1. alex

      jsmith: Does that mean worker solidarity and unions are therefore bad ideas?

      Solidarity is a wonderful thing. Doesn’t anyone remember the public sector unions standing by the industrial unions when they protested against NAFTA and other so-called free trade agreements? Me neither.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Yeah, but do you want to write off this whole group of people? They were victims too. They were encouraged not to show solidarity with the industrial unions as a result of the divide and conquer strategy employed by the union officials and Democrat politicians.

        Doesn’t mean the individual workers on both sides shouldn’t show solidarity for one another going forward.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      liberTARD isn’t doing it for me. Seems like a childish slur.

      Are they really any more dangerous than Democrats? Democrats will take away our pensions as well, but will put on a show about trying to stop it it (see WI where the Dems pretend to put up a fight)?

      Libertarians want to end the war on drugs and free the largest population of political prisoners on the planet. They want to end our wars. They want to end rule by banker.

      I agree with you that they are often tricked into blaming workers and blaming worker packages. But they are victims of propaganda. Much like Democratic votes are victims of propaganda.

      1. jsmith

        re libertardian:

        “Fucking nonsense spouting moron” took too long to type so I went with the replacement of a single letter.

        So they want to end the War on Drugs?

        And replace it with what?

        A society where people are free to do whatever drugs they like but will be jettisoned to die slow and painful deaths because addiction is a “choice” doncha know?


        End prisons?

        Sure and replace them with what?

        Posses? Lynch mobs? Mercenaries? Is the libertarian actually against privately-run prisons?

        Don’t think so.

        End our wars?

        Hmmm, with the libertarian mindset of everyone out for themselves how long do you really think a state of peace would last? An hour? A day?

        End the rule by the banker and replace it with a 21st century version of the Wild West were handsome and rugged ranch owners subjugate surrounding populaces as they get to play lord, judge and executioner.


        I since it appears that leftists and libertarians on a surface level, well then, I guess they’re the same, right?

        1. jsmith


          Last sentence:

          I since it appears that leftists and libertarians AGREE on a surface level, well then, I guess they’re the same, right?

        2. Walter Wit Man

          Well, I’m not defending libertarian ideology. I’m just advocating an arms length coalition to try to achieve some power. Not that it’s likely to achieve much good . . . but I think it stands a better chance than almost any other electoral strategy.

          As with any political deal, one must be able to trust his partners and of course if it stops making sense to work with Libertarians then of course it should end. I would advocate working with the Democrats if that were viable or made sense.

        3. Walter Wit Man

          So they want to end the War on Drugs?

          And replace it with what?

          A society where people are free to do whatever drugs they like but will be jettisoned to die slow and painful deaths because addiction is a “choice” doncha know?

          People pretty much do whatever drugs they want and *choose* to ruin their lives. Addiction is a disease and it’s more humane and efficient to legalize drugs and treat it as a health issue (via socialized health care that covers addiction and pcychiatric health).

          End prisons?

          Sure and replace them with what?

          Posses? Lynch mobs? Mercenaries? Is the libertarian actually against privately-run prisons?

          I would go farther than almost everyone I know as far as ending our criminal justice system, but most people, including libertarians, want to keep a core criminal code. Basically don’t harm others. Ending the war on drugs does not mean introducing posses, lynch mobs, and mercenaries. In fact, our war on drugs has done more to introduce those things than any liberalization of the criminal code would. In fact, liberalization would probably decrease crime.

          End our wars?

          Hmmm, with the libertarian mindset of everyone out for themselves how long do you really think a state of peace would last? An hour? A day?

          What, no option for minutes? These ghouls are so bloodthirsty they will find you under the bed in minutes, is my best guess . . .

          1. jsmith


            Sorry, couldn’t respond yesterday.

            Never meant to imply that you were defending the libertarian ideology just arguing against the prototypical libertarian.

            I like your posts as they are informative and bring to the table a lot of info that many don’t know about it.

            As concerns other posters who try and smear reputable sources as they lie about what those sources say and then get pissed off/embarrassed when made to look like an idiot online…oh well.

        4. Stroebs

          jsmith: your personal attacks and name-calling are lame. Why don’t you try to put together a coherent argument instead of name calling.

    3. Walter Wit Man

      I especially agree with you about the fiat issue. This really bugs me about liberarians. Well, the anti-worker stuff and blaming the little people for getting stuff for “free” also bugs me. Sometimes I can’t stand to read sites like Zero Hedge or Mish’s place becaue of this.

      But lots of people get the fiat issue wrong, and not just libertarians. I’ve basically come to F. Beard’s position about currency and it’s not many people that are open to that argument anywhere in America. Currency and banking is a complicated issue. Once again, Libertarians are not much different than Democrats on this issue (and may even bring about better policy than Democrats), but Libertarians are at least better on many other issues.

  12. alex

    re: Officers shoot homeowner being evicted from foreclosed house

    Not to excuse the homeowner in any way for taking the first shots, but the police were crazy for lobbing in teargas before there was any gun play. WTF? An eviction just isn’t important enough to employ tactics normally only used in dangerous hostage or riot situations.

    Just post a cop to wait for the homeowner to leave. So what if it takes a month? Just make sure to charge the OT to whatever party wants the eviction.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      This police terror has now been normalized by our masters.

      We have been bombarded with years of pro-violence police shows and arguments from politicians like Obama and Rahm.

      The last year of massive violence to break up Occupy protesters also normalized violence against low level “crimes” like misdemeanor trespassing.

      Welcome to fascism. Next time you see a Democrat shake his or her hand and thank them for our police state.

      1. alex

        Worse it will be used as an excuse to say how dangerous police work is. Yeah, always remember to escalate a potentially violent situation by playing SWAT for a measly eviction.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Speaking of worker solidarity, public unions can unite with private sector workers, both union and non-union, to lessen the negative impact of globalization and immigration which falls mostly on the private sector.

    1. alex

      I’m holding my breath waiting for the public sector unions to get involved with that. Can’t say I ever remember them uttering a peep about so-called free trade.

  14. A Little Night Musing

    “Too bad labor’s leaders aren’t openly gay. If they were, they’d have asked Obama if he wanted to lose WI in November. And then they’d have made their threat stick. Na ga happen.” Ain’t it the truth… ironically, my union’s top leader IS openly gay, but early on took us (AFT) to endorsing Obama despite indications (now realized) that he supported policies we were (supposedly) dead opposed to. And now? ::crickets::

  15. kevinearick

    Cackling Hyenas

    So, the firefighter and police unions cut bait along with Walker…You don’t want to be satisfied with an 80% extermination rate, because rats with a base replicate exponentially…You want all the rats out of labor before you re-boot…The robots have no economic motor…Their masters keep thinking it’s a negotiation…because that is all they know.

    If you look, what you will see is more and more, less and less effective, robots being brought to bear. Numbers. All they understand is numbers, which are a relative fiction.

    Sooner or later, they figure, sufficient MAD pressure will be do the trick, assuming that everyone is ultimately wh-ed out to the same reserve currency bubble as they are. Where do they go after PM?

    Now, the sh-show comes back to Congress, which only knows how to get paid to lose wars and breed dependency on the likes of Soros, f-ing moneychangers.

    Idiots seek the beast, to get relief from the beast, only to become the beast. The snake is an ever multiplying hydra, which was the point of the US Constitution.

    The figure is $17T, and it’s going to get a lot higher by the time the Chicago boys and the little girls running Europe dial in the picture.

    The empire is a systemic wave built over thousands of years. You have to accept it for what it is, not what you want it to be, to effectively implement your development. Legacy operates the explicit side and new family formation operates the implicit side, in a balance between asset preservation speed and organic growth direction.

    Whether you want a fast food baby or a home cooked baby depends upon where your spirit is in the development cycle. If you want to change the direction in your world, and the vast majority is never willing to make the trade-off, prepare to have children, by challenging internal false assumptions, as the example of expectation.

    Empires run on debt. They are always bankrupt, physically, mentally, and spiritually. They are controlled by issuing debt, and rewarding consumption behavior with jobs, which must be completed by rote. What the interviewer wants to know is do you comply with the arbitrary behaviors associated with the income bracket. Every empire iteration has its own set of clothing.

    Most robots are born in an income track and remain there. Some move up the brackets by observing the associated behaviors and replicating them. The greater the income, the greater the debt, the more control over future behavior, with aggregate debt assigned to future generations as far as the eye can see.

    How you traverse the empire depends upon the pieces required for your development. The empire expects no change, or a steady ascent to no change, followed by recycling. It’s robotic, so giving it what it expects requires little effort. Shortly after hiring, it’s going to be looking for behavior confirmation.

    There are as many approaches as there are unique individuals, but the objective remains to get the required piece of your conversion key, while confirming empire expectation in time with parallel operations. Finding the unknown piece is easy; it’s unique and the event horizon false assumptions all point away from it. The more elegant your algorithm, the easier it is to operate in plain sight. When you are downed, they all come in like a pack of hyenas, which is exactly what you want.

    Ultimately, somebody has to do something. Politicians don’t do anything, but talk and look busy, doing busy work. So long as future generations promise to pay back the principal and the current generation makes the interest payment, all will be well, and a government never has to pay back the principal at any rate, right?

    We live in a paperless economy with exponentially increasing paper because the manufactured majority is always comprised of politicians. Have you ever watched a lobbyist work? They are well paid, with worthless money, to be well dressed gutter rats. Every gravitational system has its unifying field equation, but they all work the same way, SOP. The definition of relative depends upon the system, but they (we) are all ancient History relative to God.

    The difference between income brackets, and governments, is how fast you can get a new loan after going bankrupt and whether you are rolling over interest with positive or negative relative rates, which explains Obama. Trump’s persona is a top of the line robot, which is neither good nor bad. It is what it is, whatever you choose to make of it, because, at the top (and bottom) echelon, the memory of money is virtual.

    Stupid insanity is both the means and the end to certification, hence the rating agency of rating agencies. Anytime you are in public, expect to be surrounded by anxiety ridden talking heads. Navigating space is not about knowing an equation; it’s about creating space.

  16. Kim Kaufman

    “BAR. If you haven’t read this, read it: “Political campaigns are pretty much where movements go to die, get betrayed or are stillborn.””

    link is dead. Never mind, I just found it elsewhere. I love that you read and put Black Agenda Radio stuff in here. Glen Ford is awesome.

    Also, in CA, lots of absentee and provisional ballots to still be counted. I’m watching the Norman Solomon race and Torie Osborn race for possible different outcomes.

  17. barrisj

    Meanwhile, another despatch from the drone front—Francine Prose discusses the NYT article on Obama’s “kill” policy re: drone targeting in her NYRB blog:

    Getting Them Dead
    After reading the article that appeared under the headline “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will” in the May 29 New York Times, I couldn’t talk about much else. I found myself wanting to analyze it, as one might dissect a literary text, to better understand how it produced its effect on the reader: in my case, shock and awe, tempered by consolatory flickers of disbelief. Like literature, the story resists summarization, partly because the Times reporters, Jo Becker and Scott Shane, employ detail, word choice, diction, and tone to direct and influence the reader’s response without, on the surface, appearing to do so—and to make a familiar narrative seem new.

    The article begins with dramatic immediacy. “This was the enemy, served up in the latest charts from the intelligence agencies: 15 Qaeda suspects in Yemen with Western ties.” That gustatory “served up” is striking, since what is on the conference table are documents. So the people whose mug shots and capsule biographies are laid out on charts resembling a “high school yearbook” must logically be the items “served up” on the menu. “Several were Americans. Two were teenagers, including a girl who looked even younger than her 17 years.” Given what we soon learn—that this meeting has been convened to decide which people on the charts should be killed—we may well wonder about the fate of the young girl. Though we discover nothing more about her, her presence (a wake-up call to those who may have pitied terrified children at airport security checkpoints) hovers over the text, which will go on to consider the problem of accidentally killing children during a drone attack.
    When the journalists portray President Obama poring over “what one official calls the macabre ‘baseball cards’ of an unconventional war,” it’s only the first of several jarring metaphors alluding to sports and games (and one which recalls the “personality identification playing cards” that were given to U.S. Troops during the 2003 invasion of Iraq to help them recognize the most-wanted members of Saddam Hussein’s regime).
    Considering that the speakers are discussing the deaths of human beings, the jauntiness with which they refer to the state-sanctioned hit lists at the “Terror on Tuesday” meetings seems not merely unseemly, but appalling. “One guy gets knocked off, and the guy’s driver, who’s No. 21, becomes 20?” asks William M. Daley, the president’s 2011 chief of staff.
    More than 60 years after Orwell published his essay, “Politics and the English Language,” the Times piece reminds us that political agendas have continued to distort the meaning of the words we use. In order to reduce the body count of civilians, the definition of “militant”—an already elastic construct—has been broadened to include every male of military age killed by a drone strike, “unless there is explicit evidence posthumously proving them innocent.” According to one source, “They count the corpses and they’re not really sure who they are.” Meanwhile, the drone war has warped the language into absurdity, making the distinction between “personality strikes” aimed at specific individuals and “signature strikes” against suspicious camps and compounds that, too late, may turn out to have been family gatherings.

    Since 9/11, euphemism and obfuscation—the use of “enhanced interrogation” and “aggressive techniques” as synonyms for torture, of “extraordinary rendition” to mean kidnapping and imprisonment in foreign countries without trial—have become all-too-familiar elements of of our political, military, and cultural vocabulary. But more recently, as the Times article suggests, the expense, ineffectiveness, and public-relations drawbacks of capture and interrogation have led the government to conclude that it’s often more efficient to dispense with the messy business and to use drones to murder suspected terrorists outright—in situ, as it were. And so the Orwellian doublespeak employed to conceal the grim realities of torture has at least partly given way to a new set of euphemisms intended to camouflage the fact that we have been dispatching unmanned missiles to murder suspected miscreants without the legal processes that might establish their guilt, or innocence.
    The Times essay merits attentive reading for its chillingly Rasputin-like portrait of Obama’s chief counterterrorism advisor, John O. Brennan, as a “dogged police detective, tracking terrorists from his cavelike office in the White House basement, or a priest whose blessing has become indispensable to Mr. Obama.” The allusion to religion recurs as we learn that Obama seeks guidance in the “writings on war by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas”—a short list of spiritual thinkers from which Jesus is conspicuously absent.
    Aside from the reference to the deaths of innocents, this is primarily a political rather than a moral critique. For that, we need to examine the article’s final line, which continues to resonate after we have set aside our papers. Presumably, pages of transcripts must have been sifted through in order to find (and end with) the following quote from Michael Leiter, former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

    “You can pass a lot of laws,” Mr. Leiter said, “These laws are not going to get Bin Laden dead.”

    Get Bin Laden dead? With its execrable grammar, its calculated thuggishness, and, for all that we have been reading about the assumption of personal responsibility, its euphemistic avoidance of what is really at issue (to get dead is not the same as to kill, and it’s never laws but people who get other people dead), the quote suggests a new dispensation in which our government, at the highest level, has given Tony Soprano license to ignore the rule of law and murder actual human beings, some of them harmless civilians. Shouldn’t we feel more frightened than reassured by the knowledge that the leader of our country holds himself accountable for every one of these deaths?

    The notion that drone bodycount comprises individuals assumed guilty until posthumously shown to be innocent is – I suspect – one of the most revelatory nuggets extracted from the NYT article, and shows to what extent the US government has been so morally polluted and debased that no matter who occupies the Oval Office, he/she will inevitably fall under the delusion of playing God as an adjunct to “protecting national security interests”. I’m not too sure exactly what St. Augustine or Thomas Aquinas would have to say about murder-by-drone, but I suspect Obama is well-learned in Jesuitical and casuist argumentation that he can evoke a sound moral reason for his actions.

  18. barrisj

    Oy vey, bad use of HTML markup stuff…I obviously forgot to close the …so, when exactly are we to get a PREVIEW option in Comments section?

  19. LizinOregon

    Regards the Floyd Norris piece on a new group to monitor financial regulation. Read it earlier but stopped when I got to Alan Simpson on the list of members. What a joke.

  20. Externality

    When it comes to protecting the banksters’ money, no imposition on the public is too great:

    Aurora Police Stop, Handcuff 40 Innocent Adults At Intersection In Search Of Bank Robber


    [O]n Saturday police say they received a “reliable” tip that the suspect behind an armed robbery that had occurred earlier at a Wells Fargo bank was stopped at a red light at the intersection of E. Iliff Avenue and S. Buckley Road.

    The only problem was this: the police didn’t have a description of the suspect, the vehicle or anything that would help them narrow down their search. So, rather than let their man get away, the cops barricaded the area, trapped about 25 cars and pulled each and every occupant out of their car at gunpoint and ultimately handcuffed 40 adults.

    [The adult occupants were then kept, handcuffed, on the ground for up to two hours. One website also shows a boy, approximately 10, being taken from a car with a shotgun about six inches from his nose.

    Aurora police Chief Dan Oates defended the department’s unusual decision to handcuff all the adults at the scene to the Aurora Sentinel saying, “No question we inconvenienced citizens, and I feel badly about that.” But says he backs up the decision to proceed with the unusual method, “I can’t find fault with the decisions that were made.”

    But, removing 40 people from their cars at gunpoint, handcuffing and detaining them? That seems extreme. Oates went on to state that although he was sorry for detaining innocent people, he felt the ends justified the means…

    “Police Searching for Bank Robber Stop All Cars at Intersection, Handcuff Drivers, Search Cars”
    (Link includes legal analysis by Professor Volokh.)

      1. Externality

        For some reason, the closing bracket keeps disappearing after the post appears here.

        The bracketed text ends after the link.

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