Links 7/17/12

Steve Flaherty Vietnam war letters arrive 43 years late BBC

Former Monsanto Employee Exposes Fraud RSN (furzy mouse)

Anti-AIDS Pill Out Of Sex-Worker Reach In Push For Cure Bloomberg. The later part of this story is so depressing, the high rate of HIV incidence in low income countries and the lack of cost-effective measures to tackle it (in large measure due to the low average incomes in those countries, which is tantamount to low value being assigned to saving individual lives). Even though I’ve seen these facts before, it’s sad to be reminded of them, particularly since I don’t know of any remedies.

The Affordable Care Act’s Mixed Reviews Jon Walker, Firedoglake

Reports from Health Care Practitioners Health After Oil (martha r). Some early effects of the Affordable Care Act are not looking good at all.

On the Rise of the (Deep) Southern Oligarchy Washington Monthly. We linked to a piece yesterday on Southern oligarchy. Some Southerners, as well as a writer cited by the author of the post, took offense.

The Power of Being Single Salon. Wow, talk about being disconnected from your own culture. I don’t relate at all to the idea of being stigmatized by being single. In fact, I’m uncomfortable being identified with someone else; I have enough trouble managing my own image!

The ECB’s Swedish plan MacroBusiness

Chart of the Day: Germany in breach of Maastricht Treaty in 8 of 10 years since 2002 Ed Harrison. This is an important piece. The Germans are trying to rewrite history, big time.


Libor scandal: former Barclays executive and FSA chairman face MPs Guardian (Lee S)

Libor testimony puts Diamond under fire Financial Times

Libor Manipulating Banks Used Baltimore’s Tax Dollars To Help Pay Off Your Mortgage, Or Something Dealbreaker

British Bank Fighting Bid for Data in Rate Case New York Times

Fed ‘lacked jurisdiction’ on Libor Financial Times. Right. And the general counsel of the Fed didn’t know price fixing is a violation of Article 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act? Tell me why there was no referral to the DoJ.

Libor Scandal Highlights Regulatory Failure David Dayen Firedoglake

Israeli’s Act of Despair Disheartens a Movement New York Times

‘Monica, Monica’ chants taunt Clinton in Egypt AFP (Scott)

How the Republican party can win Financial Times. As much as Romney is acting like a piss poor candidate, Obama’s lead over him isn’t very large, and the economy is unlikely to look peppier come the fall. So this line of thinking isn’t as nutty as it sounds.

It’s True: Corporations Are People Jack Welch, Wall Street Journal. Is an anthropologist or sociologist keep tabs? How many repetitions of this obvious untruth will it take before people are brainwashed?

Foreclosure review program befuddles borrowers Reuters

Senate Probe Faults HSBC Wall Street Journal

FOIA docs reveal Treasury officials cited for soliciting prostitutes, accepting gifts The Hill. And get this: the guy they caught for soliciting prostitutes did so on his work computer. I wonder how many they’d find if they started Spitzering staffers.

Merchants Considering Credit Card Surcharges New York Times

Goldman Builds Private Bank Wall Street Journal. Confusing nomenclature. Places like Bank Julius Baer, which take funds from the wealthy and provide investments, are “private banks”. Goldman has for quite some time had a large wealth management/private clients group which makes it a reasonably good size private bank. So it is not building a private bank; it has one. What it is doing that is new is making loans to rich people. That’s not a core activity of private banking.

Calpers earns 1 per cent annual return Financial Times (furzy mouse). So now you can feel better.

* * *

lambert here:

D – 53 and counting*

“Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects…totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations.” –Aldous Huxley

CA. Voting: “Perales ‘and other city officials routinely and systematically opened the absentee ballots cast in the 2007 City Council election by mail,’ according to the plea agreement. ‘Ballots cast in favor of the incumbent candidates were resealed and returned to the mail to be counted. Ballots for non-incumbent candidates were discarded.'” Bradblog comments: “[A]s is almost always the case when it comes to fraudulent elections in this country, it was a matter of insider officials gaming the system.”

CO. Fracking: “These [satellite] images appear to support the rumored allegations [that] drillers and frackers may have been driving tanker trucks offroad, opening the valve on the tank while driving, and spraying drilling and fracking fluids and wastes across the landscape.” (MR)

FL. Pass the popcorn: “The bitter feud between Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll and a disgruntled aide escalated Monday as the aide’s attorney called for a state arson investigation into a trash can fire in Carroll’s office.” …. Mice roar: “City council members asked for more staff research Monday about Councilman Jonathan Pearce’s proposal to require banks to register foreclosed properties in the city and pay a $200 annual fee.”

IA. Food: “The $500,000 state appropriation to the Iowa Food Bank Association, which Gov Terry Branstad blocked, would have provided more supplies to an organization that is “starving for donations.”

LA. Water: “Low water in the Mississippi River has allowed a ‘wedge’ of saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico to work its way up [the Mississippi but it] is not yet considered a threat to New Orleans, St. Bernard or Jefferson water supplies.”

NY. Corruption: “In the past six months, COR partners Steven Aiello, a D, and Jeffrey Aiello, an R, gave a combined $60,000, according to Cuomo’s latest campaign filing. Earlier this year, the city of Syracuse chose COR to lead a $350 million re-development project at the city’s Inner Harbor. …. Prior to that, the Aiellos had donated only once before to Cuomo, $5,000 in 2010.” (Bob)

OH. Fracking: “One person was confirmed dead from an oil- and natural gas-well explosion Monday morning, but authorities will need additional time to provide positive identification of the victim and an exact cause of the explosion that sent flames and an oil holding tank high into the sky and created a blanket of intense heat that could be felt across the street.”

PA. Fracking, jobs: “Eric Daniels, 43, had counted himself lucky when he got a $17-an-hour job driving a truck that hauls water to natural gas wells. The Riverdale resident’s view shifted after he tore apart his Riverdale home and realized the new pipeline could threaten his job. More than 2,000 water truck trips had been eliminated by the pipeline as of April, the company reported.” (AP) … Gasland vs. (Big Oil-funded) Truthland: neighbor against neighbor. …. Corruption: “Scranton mayor says city council claims of bank ‘collusion’ are untrue.”

VA. Kumbaya: “[O]fficials have announced a new partnership with [Coursera,] a company specializing in offering massive open online courses. The deal, which will offer non-credit classes, was in the works for several months, according to school officials. That means that it was being worked on even as President Teresa A. Sullivan was ousted, then put back into her job as president.”

Outside baseball. Corruption: “Treasury Department officials have been cited for soliciting prostitutes, breaking conflict-of-interest rules and accepting gifts from corporate executives, according to the findings of official government investigations.” Cartagena on the Potomac. Timmy? Anyone we know? … Money: “Only 0.23% of Americans donate over $200 to a political campaign but they constitute 66.3% of the [total dollars] donations.” … Privatization: “Test scores on NAEP, the only no-stakes national test with forty years of data, are at their highest point in history. … Suppose a group of powerful people decided that they wanted to privatize public education. Where would they start?” … Water: “The nation’s widest drought in decades is spreading, with more than half of the continental United States now in some stage of drought and most of the rest enduring abnormally dry conditions.” … Snark watch, London olympics: “I swear, the more I get to know about private industry the more confidence I have in the efficiency of the public sector.”

Green Party. Cheri Honkala: Well, one, I really hope to stay alive in the process and that’s not a joke. Because some of the worst gangsters I’ve met have come from the Democratic Party and of course they aren’t going to be happy.

The trail. Razor thin margin, Paul Begala: “[T]he whole shootin’ match comes down to around 4 percent of the voters in six states. I did the math so you won’t have to. Four percent of the presidential vote in VA, FL, OH, IA, NM, and CO is 916,643 people. That’s it.”

ObamaCare. Rebates: “Something strange is happening all over America: Insurance companies are sending checks to their customers. … It was an actual check for real cash money.” And in an election year. Fancy that!

Romney. David Frum: “Romney’s core problem is this: He heads a party that must win two-thirds of the white working-class vote in presidential elections to compensate for its weakness in almost every demographic category. The white working class is the most pessimistic and alienated group in the electorate, and it especially fears and dislikes the kind of financial methods that gained Romney his fortune.”

Obama. Teebee: Firms ad exhibits the smooth sheen of consummate professionalism.

Bain flap. Pesky things: “Indeed, no evidence has yet emerged that Mr. Romney exercised his powers at Bain after February 1999 or directed the funds’ investments after he left, although his campaign has declined to say if he attended any meetings or had any other contact with Bain during the period. ” Which is Romney’s claim. … Pesky things: “[Oboma flak] Cutter touched off a frenzy in political circles when she said Mr. Romney either lied to the SEC about the length of his Bain tenure and therefore committed a felony, or is lying to voters now. … Current and former government officials have said it is not unusual for the top shareholder, or the person with the “controlling” interest, to be listed on SEC documents.” Romney’s doing what rich guys do. But Obama can’t say that because he’s got his own rich guys who would take umbrage. So now it’s all about Mitt Romney, Bad Person. And he is, he is! … The meta: Here’s a nice wrap-up (with photo selected to make Romney look slightly crazed, which is the real story: He’s losing the political and media class, if he ever had them. … The meta: “The Bain battle has dominated political talk, obliterating [Romney’s] efforts to talk about his economic remedies. [ha ha ha] And among some Rs, it’s raised questions about the former MA governor’s ability to take a punch and control the campaign narrative against a master campaigner.” Again, losing the political class.

* 53 days ’til the Democratic National Convention ends with buckets of KFC on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. Barack Obama won the 2008 Presidential election with 53% of the vote.

* * *

Antidote du jour (herman s):

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    1. Dave of Maryland

      Not a new story. What do you expect sex-crazed super athletes to do as soon as the events end? The You Tube videos will fetch very high prices. Still time to get in on the action.

      1. TimR

        Wanted to thank you for your expanded reply on astrological medicine. I still find it hard to believe, but I never write anything off out of hand. I know enough to know that “science” isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. See, for instance, Morris Berman’s “The Reenchantment of the World”.

        Also see this fascinating blog for a scientist critiquing science as currently practiced:

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      NR, yep: 1% DNA “employment” in perpetuity. “In the Club” forever.

  1. Ned Ludd

    In Israel, it looks like editors let advertisers direct their news coverage.

    Interviewed in a Tel Aviv cafe days before Mr. Silman’s self-immolation, Ms. Shaffir, 27, a leader of the protest movement, said some editors warned the activists in the winter that the news coverage would no longer be sympathetic because the support they gave the protests last summer had scared off advertisers.

    In a recent interview on RT, Cenk Uygur said that, when he worked in the mainstream media (presumably MSNBC), “the thing they freaked out about the most is if you touched the advertisers – then red flags waved everywhere.” I remember back when news organizations assured everyone that their news departments were separated from advertisrers by a Chinese wall. Nowadays, I no longer hear the concept of a Chinese wall even come up in the context of journalism.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      I watched the movie Network (1976) recently.

      The premise was that it wasn’t profitable for network news departments to operate (they were losing something like $30 million/year in the movie). There was a constant tension between the business and news sides and the money side broke a promise to the news chief and ended up cutting the news for entertainment. The old-school anchor snapped and started making rants against the advertisers and government, etc. The business side freaked out. But a high-level producer was pulling the strings and got in the star anchor’s head and was able to modify his message to promote the producer’s business interests.

      I can’t help but think this whole story was the excuse for the dumbing down of American news. It was preparing us for what we have now. Just look at the change since Network.

      It’s like they are admitting right off the bat we won’t get the full story and are blaming the ‘consumers’ of media for this state of affairs. Hey, the magic market has spoken, the people would rather have entertainment than news, so that’s the reason things are the way they are. The news people would love to do better, but the suits run the show and they are doing the best they can.

      Bullshit. It’s mostly designed this way and not solely for financial reasons.

      1. Goin' South

        Did you watch all the way to the end? Jensen’s “sermon?”

        Seems like you missed Paddy Chayefsky’s point.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          How did I miss the point?

          I am aware that my interpretation of the movie is slightly different than most (who apparently think the movie carried a positive message or something). But here’s Howard Beale’s last speech after Jensen, the business man/producer, had gotten to him:

          I did think Jensen’s sermon that got to Beale was the most accurate:

          Beale was killed for his ratings, not the substance of his speech. He was co-opted by the money man, who can “sell anything” he says, which was easy because Beale was weak and narcissistic and going through a mid life crises and drinking. He was malleable and did what the money men wanted. His relationship with the woman was a hoax.

        2. Walter Wit Man

          Also notice, the money boys were willing to let Beale have an apparent victory, to let him stop the Arab* takeover of CCA, because it established Beale’s credentials and so he could present Mr. Jensen’s corporate cosmology as an alternative.

          *Apart from the meme that capitalism doesn’t support truthful news is the meme about Arab threats.

          And now that I think about it, this whole movie is very much like Jensen’s corporate cosmology and the idea that dehumanization is inevitable so one might as well accept his fate. This is what Chayefsky is doing! He’s telling us there is no hope, this is our future.

        3. Walter Wit Man

          This is interesting:

          In a long handwritten note, across the top of which Chayefsky wrote, “THE SHOW LACKS A POINT OF VIEW,” he confessed to himself, “I guess what bothers me is that the picture seems to have no ultimate statement beyond the idea that a network would kill for ratings, and even that doesn’t mesh with the love story.”

          With disappointment, he added: “I’m not taking a stand — I’m not for anything or anyone. If we give Howard a speech at the end of the show, what would he say? I think I would like to say something against the destructiveness of absolute beliefs. That the only total commitment any of us can have is to other human beings.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Chinese wall.

        Glass-Steagall wall.

        Are there any walls left on Wall Street? Shouldn’t it be more accurately called No-Wall Street?

        How about a wall between a politician and his/her campaign money?

  2. Anon

    I do not understand why no one in the British press is going after Angela Knight, the former Tory MP who until very lately was head of the British Bankers’ Association – since the BBA is the body responsible for setting Libor.

    This woman and her organization are a disgrace. Why is Knight getting such an easy ride of it?

    Knight’s abysmal performance in post in 2007-12 may possibly even trump that of another abject, right-wing failure, Petra Buscombe – thankfully now former head of the Press Complaints Commission – who failed spectacularly to rein in Murdoch’s out-of-control News of the World:

    Knight has already quit the BBA, but the Libor scandal largely happened on her watch, and certainly the 2008 “review” requested by Geithner was passed to the BBA by Mervyn King. And the BBA apparently did precisely sweet FA with it – outBuscombe-ing Buscombe at that point, I think.

    But like all these high-falutin’ idiots, Knight never pays the price for failure, so she’s now been appointed head of trade body Energy UK:

    Oh, joy. Just who we need in charge in a sector never knowingly open to price manipulation. Not.

      1. Valissa

        What do you expect from high end tricksters?

        Who makes the money, and for whom?

        Welcome to the financial rodeo

        Other monetary creativity

          1. F. Beard

            Sounds good to me. I just hope they are killed painlessly but that may soon be an obsolete concern; scientists are learning to grow meat in labs.

  3. Herman Sniffles

    When people (usually women) ask me “how can you be so old and still be single?” I have two pat answers. Depending on who is asking I answer:

    1) “Just lucky I guess.”
    2) “Marriage is an institution – I try to stay out of institutions.

    Really bugs’em!

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Hah, good lines!

      I pretty much never get asked (although the female-directed version of that question I gather is faux concerned, but the fact that I never get asked suggests that questioners pick on women they sense are insecure on that topic) is:

      “I have only one problem with marriage. Being a wife.”

      1. JTFaraday

        They harass young women. After a while, unless the woman herself brings it up, it becomes “the social condition of which they dare not speak.”

        But if you bring it up, they’ll still be happy to “fix it” for you.

        Also, widows. For most of my life, most of my WWII generation great-aunts were widows who did not remarry. Lots of single women out there, really.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Oh, I agree 100%, I’m past my sell by date, but even when I was young I never got asked. And I do have other single women my age tell me they do get asked (this is NYC, people here are bloody forward). They get disapproval for never having been married, while being divorced is OK>

          1. F. Beard

            (this is NYC, people here are bloody forward).

            I noticed that on my one time in NYC. I called it “aggressive friendliness.”

            I’m surprised you never got asked when younger. I love smart women (though they do scare me quite a bit). And you’re not bad looking either.

            BTW, my mother of 7 children, remarried at 60 to the most eligible widower in town. He gave her 10, well deserved good years before he died of a stroke mowing the grass.

    2. craazyman

      What about “laziness”?

      It takes a lot of effort to get married, at least it looks that way.

      I’d get married tomorrow if I could walk into a store and get it over with in 10 minutes. As long as there was a return policy. haha

  4. Garrett Pace


    Generally, what’s interesting about the people who don’t find benefit in family, relationships and children is that they are the biological result of people who did.

    1. Guy_Fawkes

      It is PRECISELY your post that single people are fighting. Who is saying that single people don’t value family, relationships and children? YOU ARE!

      How dare you say that a single person doesn’t value these things!

      1. Garrett Pace

        Well, I didn’t generalize to all single people, did I – I am talking about attitudes not social groupings. I’ve seen parents and spouses out there who do not value “family, relationships and children”.

        Reading the comments on that article was poignant. The word “fulfillment” was invoked repeatedly.

        The search for fulfillment is a product of the decisions available to us in an era of birth control, relaxed social norms, and government safety nets. Having choices is good. For me having children was a very deliberate choice, but it required decades of commitment with only a vague and general notion of the fulfillment I might get out of it.

        Small wonder people are leery of such commitments, though my sense is, I am asking the wrong question when I ponder “what do I get out of this”. Many decisions have to be made before I’ll even know.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Now I’m going to get myself in trouble. The article pointed out that trying to find your happiness in another person puts a burden on that person. You have the reverse quasi moralistic assumption: that people who are single are afraid of commitment.

          Marriage used to be an economic arrangement, about procreation and property, not about love and ego needs. You had kids partly due to (in most era) lack of decent birth control (although the book Agnotology points out that pre-modern cultures often had pretty effective birth control techniques, but that knowledge got lost periodically). Kids were an old-age insurance policy, helpers on farms, and women needed to be married because in most societies, they couldn’t support themselves (the brawn factor). And single women in a pre modern era simply could not raise kids alone, hence the considerable pressure on men and women to get married as a condition of having sex. Romantic love is a Romantic (early 18th century) invention (although you certainly see a lot of romantic poems earlier, I’d assume in all cultures, don’t get me wrong, but the Greek/Roman view of love was much more common: that “love” per Eros’ arrow, was an irrational passion that descended on individuals and was often not a good thing).

          So with women able to support themselves, and less need for procreation (in fact, we need fewer resource consuming advanced economy types on this planet, or we are gonna see mass deaths of not big resource consuming people in poor countries and still have resource, particularly food, pressures) we haven’t been able to redefine gender roles as fast as the underlying social/economic realities have changed.

          All sorts of studies of happiness don’t find them having much to do with relationships. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by
          Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi found that happiness came from being engrossed in activity, like the “being in the flow” in sports. Related is Victor Frankl’s finding that people got their sense of purpose in life either from a relationship OR having creative work that they found to be important (notice this is purpose, not happiness/satisfaction per se).

          So you can accuse single people of being “selfish” as in not doing their duty to procreate, although you can see I’m not keen about that view. But the idea that they must be unfulfilled or afraid is bollocks.

          1. Garrett Pace

            “The article pointed out that trying to find your happiness in another person puts a burden on that person. You have the reverse quasi moralistic assumption: that people who are single are afraid of commitment.”

            There’s a lot to unpack in that statement. I can’t see into the hearts of others, but I know I feared commitment during my extended adult singlehood. I don’t know how many others have felt like that, but I assume many do, particularly when they indulge in their reflexive anxiety about “fulfillment”. It’s a daunting proposition, binding your destiny to that of another person, and agreeing to love not just who they are now, but also who they will be in many years. For a spouse you can at least see who they are before taking the plunge, but for children who knows what you are going to get? I think that anyone who isn’t “afraid” of that, or that at least very much appreciates the gravity of the decision, is either crazy or already has their eye on the escape hatch.

            As for seeking happiness out of “others”, I think any relationship is going to be fundamentally unstable if happiness in it can only come from taking, and not from giving.

            I remember seeing this cartoon as a child.


            I always worried for the kitten, wondering what would happen to it once the bulldog realized what a pain it was to take care of that little thing, and abandoned it. Only with age has come the understanding that the bulldog’s love was much stronger than the kitten’s love, because it was a love that cost him something. His was the love of service, not just the love of gratitude.

            The nice thing is, absent certain dysfunctions and neuroses, we can give as much as we ever care to in a relationship. That puts happiness and fulfillment within our control. At least it has for me.

            Anyway, I’m glad you posted that thought-provoking article.

          2. JTFaraday

            “There’s a lot to unpack in that statement.”

            There’s nothing to unpack. You put all those assumptions out there right from start, including jumping immediately from intimate personal relationship– the actual condition of being non-single– to the apparently necessary production of children.

            No need to even go the extra step of accusing you of being a member of a polyamorous (gasp!) religious cult, because all those nested assumptions about “the good life” are socially ubiquitous. To question any part of it gives some people the willies.

            This is the case whether this good life is framed as one of “personal fulfillment,” as you note of the commenters, or one of “personal responsibility” which is the frame you say you prefer to put around it.

          3. Garrett Pace

            Peculiar – I don’t think that I am the only one talking about parent-child relationships here. I would hope that I am also not the only one who thinks it is good to pass on the gift of life to others. If it is just me, than as a society we have progressed much further than I ever would have thought.

            Anyway, polyamory is positively banal nowadays, and has been throughout history. The difference in the Mormon version is the commitments that go with it.

          4. JTFaraday

            “Peculiar – I don’t think that I am the only one talking about parent-child relationships here.”

            Yeah, that’s what “ubiquitous” means. Unlike yourself, however, most people do not cart around such a remarkably singular definition of personal responsibility.

          5. Garrett Pace

            “Yeah, that’s what “ubiquitous” means. Unlike yourself, however, most people do not cart around such a remarkably singular definition of personal responsibility.”

            Okay, I misunderstood what you were getting at, but you’ll have to tell me what’s so unusual about my notion of personal responsibility. If you mean that the idea of fulfillment through service towards others, I might not disagree, but it would not be a pleasant thought.

            And that’s not Pepe Le Pew – I think you mean it’s the kitten version of the object of his affection, and I think you’re right. Good catch.

          6. CB

            Polygyny (from neo-Greek: πολύ poly – “many”, and γυνή gyny – “woman or wife”) is a form of marriage in which a man has two or more wives at the same time.

            Polyamory (from Greek πολύ [poly, meaning many or several] and Latin amor [love]) is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.

            Polyamorous men and women have equal sexual partnership rights. Polygyny is a male with two or more wives. Polyandry is a woman with two or more husbands.

            The “knowledge and consent of all partners concerned”… is a defining characteristic of polyamorous relationships.

            That I know of, Mormons are not polyamorous. Absolutely. Not.

          7. heretic


            “Gift of life”? Buddhists put front and center the fact that human existence is all about suffering.

            Having children is one of the cruelst things people can do.

          8. Garrett Pace


            We will have to agree to disagree. I do notice that, despite the cruelty of the gift of life, few people prove willing to give it up before their time.

          9. Garrett Pace


            Interesting about polyamory. Thanks for the link. I did not realize it was a neologism. People’s ability for forming such a broad variety of romantic relationships is breathtaking.

            The “knowledge and consent of all partners concerned” should have characterized LDS plural marriages, but it didn’t always work out that way 100% of the time. Of my polygamous ancestors, as far as I know none of them took another wife without the knowledge and consent of his other wives.

          10. CB


            Your ancestors were polygynous. Polygamy is a general term for multiple spouses; altho it usually refers to a man with more than one wife, it could be a woman with more than one husband. Mormons are not polyamorous or polyandrous.

    2. F. Beard

      According to Mormon theology, one is “God” over his descendants? And wives stay dead unless their husband resurrects them?

      So the childless don’t get to be “Gods”? And one better be a pleasing little wife or stay dead?

      1. Garrett Pace

        “So the childless don’t get to be “Gods”? And one better be a pleasing little wife or stay dead?”

        No. We do not believe that.

        I believe that love is justified eternally, and the love and relationship that I have for my spouse, parents and children can endure beyond this life into the next.

        Here is a statement regarding the importance of family to LDS theology:

        1. F. Beard

          I guess Mormon’s don’t like the Apostle Paul’s writings then?

          Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that.

          But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 1 Corinthians 7:7-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB) [emphasis added]

          1. Garrett Pace

            I think the verses you quote were intended as guidance for missionaries who were traveling and preaching for a time, and for whom family commitments were difficult to fulfill. Not to be taken generally.

            Otherwise, you’ve got Paul arguing for the extinction of the human race.

          2. F. Beard

            No. Paul is simply saying that being single is a perfectly valid, even preferable option. Of course, it’s not for everyone or even for most everyone.

          3. Garrett Pace

            Oh wow – preferable to whom? God? Paul? Interesting notion that it is “good” not to marry, but equally good (almost?) to go ahead and marry?

            I don’t necessarily disagree. The afterlife will be perfectly comfortable for good people who don’t care to have children or spouses. But to me a considerable part of the purpose of life is life, and culture, and the furtherance thereof.

            And I still have to reiterate, that if Paul is offering GENERAL advice (to everyone) and investing this teaching with a divine imprimatur, then everyone who adheres to it gets Darwined right out of the gene pool.

          4. F. Beard

            then everyone who adheres to it gets Darwined right out of the gene pool.

            Your Savior (at least potentially) had no children. Or did He according to Mormon teachings?

          5. Garrett Pace

            No children that I am aware. but I don’t know of a reason why He should not have had them.

            Interesting that Paul could have offered the Savior as the highest example of childless and spouseless virtue, and yet instead he only offered himself. If there was some special aspect to the Savior’s mission that precluded the opportunities of having a family, it was specific to His life and not taught generally.

            Not, that is, until later where a celibate life was preached as the highest Christian achievement, and all the most pious and most devout of God’s children ejected themselves from the gene pool.

          6. F. Beard

            Not, that is, until later where a celibate life was preached as the highest Christian achievement,

            From ignorance of the Bible and from elevating human doctrine and reasoning above it.

          7. JTFaraday

            “The afterlife will be perfectly comfortable for good people who don’t care to have children or spouses. But to me a considerable part of the purpose of life is life, and culture, and the furtherance thereof.”

            You think that having children is just naturally, unproblematically the the means of furthering life and culture, and you’ve seen this?


          8. Garrett Pace

            “You think that having children is just naturally, unproblematically the the means of furthering life and culture, and you’ve seen this?”

            I’m pretty sure you understand my notion of “personal responsibility” well enough that I shouldn’t have to refute that statement.

            Funny pic though. My boys’ vehicles are all foot powered. Very small carbon footprint. :)

          9. heretic

            What Paul said is not hard to understand, it’s funny how you choose not to get it. If you have a low libido, it’s fine being single. If you feel the urge to get laid, you better get married.

    3. Klassy!

      Just because people value their own children, does not mean they actually value children.
      Perhaps the people that don’t have children are the ones that really value children.

      1. Garrett Pace

        Interesting to reflect on the nature of “valuing” a thing. The sentiment or emotion doesn’t count for a lot until it gets acted upon.

        Not that you have to have kids to do so. I see plenty of single people who value children probably more than I do, and spend their lives putting that value into action. God bless them.

    4. cultsnits

      Let it go, Udalls always get crabby when they see a women they can’t add to their polygamous herds of human livestock.

      It’s a cult thing, you wouldn’t understand.

      1. Garrett Pace

        That’s funny.

        Speaking of Udalls, this is from a letter written by my great great great granddad David Udall, upon the death of his wife Eliza King at the age of 36:

        “Dear Father, I take my pen to communicate to you the mournful intelligence the death of your daughter Eliza my beloved wife of my youth. I remember how faithful, affectionate and kind she has been to me. She died March 15 of an inflammation, she was six months pregnant. In 1857 she miscarried, it injured her constitution very much. In 1860 she had an inflammation on her lungs and she has never been strong since – she has been sick off and on ever since. She has said to me very often, “My dear, I think I shall not live to give this child birth.” She was not able to do any work for a good while before she died. I have said to her many times, “My dear I don’t wish you to work. I am able to hire you a servant,” but she would work as long as she could.

        The loss of her is a heavy blow on me. I always loved her as I loved myself, but the Lord gave her to me and the Lord has taken her from me, blessed be his name for ever.”

        And he wrote this in his journal:

        “15 Mar 1863

        My wife Eliza died. She lived the life of a saint, true to all her covenants. She loved me as her husband and was passionately fond of her children. She was a good wife and companion and a good mother. She left four children. She was pregnant when she died. I am very sorry to lose her, but the Lord’s will be done.”

      2. cultsnits

        “…I have not been so downhearted since I had to send that spavined bay gelding off to the glue factory. At least the bay foaled first.”

    5. CB

      Which may be why they decline to impose themselves on entirely vulnerable children: they learned the hard way.

        1. CB

          In either case, how would I know? What an asinine question.

          But if you want to continue, CAN angels dance on the head of a pin?

          1. Garrett Pace

            Well, we don’t get to choose the circumstances of our coming to existence here on earth. But we do get to choose it for other people. Maybe the question is more valuable than you think…

          2. CB

            The question is extremely valuable, which is why people who don’t have childred by choice make that choice.

            Having children can be construed as playing God. Certainly the two despotic infants I grew up with believed so. And behaved very, very badly with nary a twitch of discernible conscience.

          3. skippy

            The question begged… is not… the whom of I…. but… of thine ilk.

            Skippy… How many angels on ahead of a pin or how many minds eyes optics discern humanity’s epic suggestion. Ummm maybe an Economist can divulge the truth.

        2. LeonovaBalletRusse

          “Not to be born is the best for man.” (Auden: “Death’s Echo”). Hard to deny.

  5. jsmith

    From a Haaretz article on Moshe Silman:

    “Moshe chose to harm himself in protest. It’s terrible when a person has to commit an act like that to explain their situation to people.”

    Ummm, are you f*cking kidding me?

    Never mind the millions of human beings who have been committing suicide and slowly being put to death for decades right next door, right, Israelis?

    Reaaaaaalllll terrible, I’m sure.

    I guess there’s only one country that has a populace more brainwashed than the U.S. and that’s Israel.

  6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    I hope more merchants will give cash discount, instead of charging more for using a credit card.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Absolutely. Discounts for cash are the single most direct way to DEFUND THE BANKSTERS.

      Some of us use cash anyway. But for most people, the convenience and lack of a cash discount lead them to use credit/debit cards.

      This settlement changes the equation. Why get a ‘rewards card’ with complicated terms, when you can get an on-the-spot reward in the form of a discount at the point of sale?

      It’s a win/win: not only do you defund the banksters, but also you throw sand in the eyes of the Total Information Awareness Stasi.

      1. F. Beard

        We should have another alternative besides cash or the banking system. The Federal Government itself should provide a free (up to normal household limits), risk-free fiat storage and transaction service that makes NO LOANS. And shortly after that service is established then government deposit insurance should be ABOLISHED.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      What happens after “the cashless society” is in effect? They think way ahead.

  7. kevinearick

    Talking Heads in a Circle

    Obama has gone and done it again hasn’t he, serving a sweet one right across the plate to Romney. He is correct. The empire, along with its component robots, is the center of the universe, its own universe, and corporation is a fiction of government, built to seek favor from government at the expense of individual liberty over time, unwittingly distilling the latter as the seed for the next round, and expecting “act of God” to do its dirty work for it in the final line of the algorithm.

    Natural variability is narrowing the field from each side, as “act of God” shortens the field. How many times corporate can hike the ball and get paid to take a knee in its own end zone depends entirely upon you. How much liberty are you willing to cede to the State, in return for slave equality in the pyramid of utility monopolies, operated by increasingly stupid masters, in a lottery ponzi system that pays you to be stupid?

    Charlie is correct; parents are responsible for cultivating the civic culture, the work ethic, through honest marriage and industry. Only your own can sell you out, and the trade union bosses sold out, switching sides to the conveniently offered public unions, which have naturally gone MAD, unable to de-couple from the DC, top-down currency, with all the associated empire unfunded liabilities accruing to their pension accounts, labeled as assets, supply side robots seeking ever more affirmative action.

    Who cares how LA, San Francisco, NY and DC blow up? Anytime a robot tells you it can build a better bridge, with your tools, leave the tools where they sit and move forward. You are the integral tool. By the time they get done fighting over your tools, you will already have the next sets ready to go, and their DNA will be well on its way back to the churn pool.

    Romney vs. Obama is empire TV for robots. When was the last time you watched a professional sporting event that was not rigged, or a TV show that had an original plot? How much stupidity can you watch? Why do you suppose tithing, which it replaces, is for strangers, fatherless children, and widows? Why do you suppose the framers created an explicit republic with enumerated powers, expecting implicit individual liberty as a result when common law was coupled, as it always is?

    The President has told you that the system is locked up. The Chief Justice has told you that the system is locked up. The Senate and House leaders have told you that the system is locked up. Why would you seek redress from such a government in a pleading of public, private, and non-profit corporate tyranny?

    Build it and they will come, because they have no choice. If you give robots choice, they will always choose no choice, delay misdirection, because that is their algorithm, beginning, middle, and end, removing themselves as far away from the work as possible. An economy is a bomb, triggered by density of stupidity. Position yourself to be successful, as an example to your children. Fertility is not collapsing by accident. Did you see that idiot from the Economist call a bottom to US housing, the self-serving poll of homebuilders, and Bernanke’s testimony?

    Individuals are already being subjected to deflation and hyperinflation, through the global HR IC chip. It just nets out to the Fed’s inflation growth target, and the Fed can only increase polarity, income inequality within the ponzi, to steady the aggregate needle. Look at the proxy hedge funds. Their real performance collapses, the pay of their standard bearers goes up, and financial print extols their magnificence.

    So, bed rest, exercise, and journaling gets the robots welfare, same as their masters. So what? Jealous? Funny how the talking heads bitch all day long about public union corruption, and sign off extolling the virtues of cops, firefighters, and teachers, like they are innocent bystanders. Don’t get me wrong; the false passion of talking heads in empire media can be entertaining, but the last time I checked, talking never built an economic bridge.

    Funny how differently the kids work, depending upon who the boss is. No; the Internet was not developed for the military or for business entrepreneurs. It was built for kids, to turn the empire’s cam on itself, which is why the digital economy is collapsing. It’s just a temporary, increasingly overloaded with nonsense.

    Is it a tax or a penalty? From the perspective of kids, tax freedom is August. “There are lots of smart people out there…There are a lot of people out there who work hard…somebody helped.” That’s it; tax currency. It’s like a cell phone bill, that never ends…but I’m just a homeless moron continuously on the road, training developers as I find them; what would I know?

    Always vote with your spirit, regardless of what you think or feel, and everything else will take care of itself. “Politician and felon is…synonymous.” QE is another way saying increase income inequality, between masters and slaves, with savings by throwing some of the masters into the slave pool, to feed the empire imperative.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Corporations are made of humans.

    But corporations are stronger than humans.

    They are like super-humans.

    They are super-people.

    1. Synopticist

      Man, the WSJ has some trully crappy editorials, but that was epic.

      Even their reliably supportive rich semi-wingnut commentors seemed to be having some problems swallowing that pile of baloney.

  9. curlydan

    “Focused on income-generating properties, Calpers’ plan calls for investing at least 75 per cent of the portfolio in retail, office, industrial and multi-family housing properties over several years.”

    Please tell me the FT got this quote wrong!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It reads like a bubble fell in love with another bubble and they are now expecting many baby bubbles.

      Why can bubbles stay single?

  10. René

    Re: The Power of Being Single

    “What I’m saying is: You’re still a mess.”

    “The many mad people around the world, in your mad asylums, hospitals – what are they? Who are they? What has gone wrong with them? They have fallen in pieces and you can’t put them together. There is no possibility of putting them together unless you arrange for all their repressed instincts to be fulfilled. But who is there even to say this? Because I have been saying it for all of thirty-five years, I have become the most notorious man in the world.

    Just the other day in the German Stern magazine, I saw a cover story of fifteen pages about my commune, and this is only the first part of the series. It is going to be five in parts, in five consecutive issues of the magazine. Their heading on the title page is “The Sex State.” I really like it! And the strangest thing is, if you go on looking beyond those fifteen pages, then you will be surprised. Who is living in a sex state? The Stern staff, their editors, and their board members, or us?

    In the magazine are nude women – and they are not just naked, because a totally naked woman is not so fascinating. You have to make her nakedness even more fascinating by giving her sexual clothes, which in a way show her body and in a way hide too. So you can play the hide-and-seek game again. You can start dreaming about how the woman looks behind these clothes. She may not be so beautiful behind those clothes – in fact all female bodies are the same and all male bodies are the same, once you put the light off and all colourfulness and all differences disappear. Darkness is such an equalizer, so communistic, that in darkness you can even love your own wife.

    The whole magazine is full of sex, but WE are the “sex state.” Even Playboy writes against me – I wonder what a really strange world we are living in! But I know why Stern or Playboy or magazines like that, which are third-rate and exploiting people’s sexuality . . . they are sold in millions. Stern sells almost 2 million copies, and each copy is estimated to be read by at least eight people: that means 16 million readers.

    Why should they be against me? And they have been against me for years. The reason is that if I succeed, then these magazines will have to close their offices. They live upon repression. It is a simple logic, why they are against me. The priests, who are against sex, are against me, and the people who are using sex as an exploitation – Playboy, Stern, and there are thousands of magazines around the world – they are also against me. It seems strange, because they are not against the pope; there is not a single article against the pope. Playboy should be against the pope, who is continually condemning sex. But no . . .

    There is an intrinsic logic: the more the pope condemns sex, the more he represses sex, the more Playboy sells. Only in my commune will nobody be interested in Playboy or Stern – who bothers? If I succeed, then all these pornographic magazines, literature, and movies are simply bound to disappear. And there is a great investment behind them, so they will all impose me – and they will oppose me and condemn me in the name of sex, as if I am spreading sexuality.

    If anybody has spread sexuality, it must be your God. I have nothing to do with it. He goes on giving birth to children with sex hormones. He should stop it – he should listen to the pope! But these magazines are not against God either, because he is providing the whole market. Popes and pornographers are all in a deep conspiracy – and they are together against me because I am simply trying to spoil the game.”

    All is a swindle!

  11. John Merryman

    I suppose that by the logic of corporations being people, that cars are people too, since they generally contain them.

    1. Synopticist

      And restaurants are people. Also prisons. Maybe my couch is a person, if there are more than zero other people sitting on it.

  12. skippy

    The Global Living Planet Index. The index shows a decline of 28% from 1970 to 2008, based on 9,014 populations
    of 2,688 species of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and fish. Shading on this, and all Living Planet Index figures represents the 95% confidence limits surrounding the trend; the wider the shading, the more variable the underlying trend (WWF/ZSL, 2012).


    Skippy… I want my money[!] and fulfill my manifest destiny!!!

  13. LucyLulu

    Re: Some Effects of the Affordable Care Act, Health after Oil

    While ACA hasn’t addressed the issues raised by either of the practictioners in the article, nor did it cause them either. The ecologically wasteful practices the nurse describes are less labor intensive, and less prone to resulting in errors and nosocomial morbities and mortalities, the scourge of hospital based medicine. They long preceded ACA. They are practices that have been developed after being intensively studied and shown to reduce transmission of infection, medication errors, increase staff productivity, etc. The motivation behind the decisions isn’t influenced by ecological concerns, it’s strictly profit driven, like other sectors of the economy.

    Much of what the psychotherapist complained about was Medicare Advantage which preceded ACA legislation, as well as the commercialization of medicine that has been ongoing in the private sector. IMO, we’ll continue to need practitioners in rural areas, however movement away from “fee-for-service” could only improve our current model. We may well be moving towards comprehensive services from a family of providers who are compensated on outcome-based or a per-capita basis. I worked for such a mental health organization, assertive community treatment team, back in 2009. We provided help with housing, job searches, public assistance, routine daily tasks as needed, medication compliance, counseling, psychiatric visits, complying with any court orders, e.g. probabion and visits with P.O., among other things. In other words, our organization, was a one-stop shop for our clients. Our six staff saw them three times/week, usually where they were residing (under a bridge if necessary, or more commonly, tracking them down). It is only one of two disciplinary models in mental health that has been proven to save the government money (about half, $110,000/yr/person to $60,000/yr/person, primarily by reducing number and duration of hospitalizations, we had the most severely ill) and improve outcomes per patient reports, and is recommended in all states by NAMI. We were compensated a flat monthly rate ($1200-$1300), and were required to provide ALL needed services, 24/7.

    In three cities in NJ, they have implemented a similar program with medically ill Medicaid patients. They noticed that a high percentage of their expenses were incurred by 5% of the patients. So, they focused on those 5%. They started making community visits, spending more time evaluating and addressing contributing factors, and building partnership relationships towards care with patients. They have also been able to find significant savings in their programs.

    We need to completely overhaul our system, if we are going to bring down costs in any meaningful measure. If people think ACA is unpopular, can you imagine implementing a universal health care, single-payer, non-profit, non-fee-for-service system? If we don’t bring down costs, the 85% who currently have insurance, and don’t care about those who don’t, will be discovering the meaning of ‘lack of health care’.

    1. CB

      I windered about that article. I’m on Medicare and I haven’t heard a whisper about HMOs. But I don’t have Medicare Advantage. I regard Med Ad as a ripoff, a political bribe to seniors. If Congress wanted to improve Medicare, do that. Don’t subsidize insurance companies and call it choice.

      1. LucyLulu

        Many of the Medicare Advantage plans are HMO’s.

        In California though, Kaiser is a huge HMO that is qualitatively different from, for example, a Humana HMO. Kaiser owns the hospitals, the labs, the physicians are on salary, it’s a completely self-contained medical network. Members use only Kaiser facilities, staffed by Kaiser employees. It’s been popular. The Cleveland Clinic uses a somewhat similar model that has gotten good reviews.

        Other HMO’s, from my understanding, sign contracts with a variety of independent contractor providers and then limit their members to choosing only those providers (and usually require referrals).

        The Kaiser type HMO is one of the alternative models that ACA supports. There has been a push for a move to either outcomes-based or flat fees based on diagnoses starting about 30 years ago when they began compensating hospitals set numbers of hospital days for an illness or procedure. So, if the hospital cuts you loose before three days had been used up, and appendicitis/appendectomy is allotted three days, the hospital could keep the difference as extra profits. If you got an infection and stayed 5 days, or required readmission, the hospital ate the losses. I’m not sure what happened to the program.

        Now the insurance company is contacted on a regular basis, often daily, for approval for continued hospitalization, based on reported condition. If the insurance company says you know longer need to be in the hospital (i.e. they aren’t paying anymore), the doctor is notified to write an order for discharge. And people think their doctor decides when they get to leave the hospital? Ha, ha, ha.

  14. LucyLulu

    AIDS is on the rise among young black males in our own country, especially in D.C. and Southern urban areas. Seven of the 10 states with the highest HIV rates are in the South (quelle surprise!). Nationally, 2% of African-American males are HIV+. 44% of new cases in 2009 were found in African-American men, 8-9 times the rate of white men. Having sex with men continues to be a high risk behavior (61%) but heterosexual transmission is on the rise (27%). (Another advantage to being single????) Blacks are even more disproportionately represented among the 23% of new diagnoses that occur in females, at 57%, while white females make up only 15%. Black men and women also have the highest mortality rates from infection. At least transmission from drug use has been steadily falling.

    We’ve made dramatic progress in treatment and prevention measures here at home. Some people are in indefinite remissions. However, poverty affects incidence and treatment in our own country. Poor minorities are more likely to become HIV+ and to eventually suffer more from AIDS symptoms. Granted, we don’t have the same incidence and humanitarian crisis they are seeing in Africa and SE Asia. Still, it’s hard to justify sending $7B overseas when we have Americans who can’t get treatment. We place low value on their lives, too.

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