Links 7/19/12

Pet Cleaners Promise Hair Today, Doggone Tomorrow Wall Street Journal

French demand Crown Jewels from the Queen to compensate for 1499 murder of Edward Plantagenet Daily Mail (Chuck L)

600-year-old linen bras found in Austrian castle PhysOrg (Chuck L)

GM wants in: P2P car-sharing startup expands to 6M OnStar subscribers ars technica (Carol B)

Google Fiber Set To Launch North Mobile Post

Alcohol Harms Thinking In Older Adults, Researchers Say Bloomberg. Bloomberg really is trying to corner the market on these “what?” headlines, as in the headline is either so extreme sounding or so bizarrely banal as to get readers to click through. In this case: “Um, doesn’t alcohol impair the thinking of younger adults too?”

Monti plans ‘Greek-style’ takeover of Sicily to avert default Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

When can private delivery of public services work? Deus ex Macchiato


Libor scandal: gunfight on Threadneedle Street Guardian (note this is an editorial…)

Rate probe turns to four major banks Financial Times

Scrutiny Intensifies on Collusion in Rate Manipulation Inquiry New York Times

Bob Diamond may not have been Banker of the Year, but… FTAlphaville (Richard Smith)

Chris Hedges: Brace Yourself, the American Empire Is Over Jesse

Obama Campaign Struggles to Find Voters Hit by Foreclosures Dave Dayen, Firedoglake. Schadenfreude alert.

The U.S. Should Require All Citizens to Vote Atlantic

Happy 2nd Birthday, Dodd-Frank FTAlphaville (Richard Smith)

While Eminent Domain Proposal Discussed, LA Tries to Make Foreclosure Cost-Prohibitive Dave Dayen, Firedoglake

Oregon Court of Appeals rules against banks, MERS in foreclosure case Oregon Live. Deontos, Chuck L, and Paul T all highlighted this case. This is much more of an Oregon issue than a general blow against MERS. First, MERS told all its members to quit foreclosing in its name over a year ago. Second, the onerous part is that a foreclosing party must put in a complete ownership history (as in all the intervening transfers) at the local courthouse before initiating a foreclosure. But Oregon has a recording law and is thus a special case. Still, good news for Oregon, you can buy houses knowing title will be clean.

Democrats Join Bid to Provide Safe Harbor For Mortgage Brokers Dave Dayen, Firedoglake. Ugh.

Consumer Watchdog Fines Capital One for Deceptive Credit Card Practices New York Times. Raj Date used to work for Capital One. I wonder if they were moved to the front of the line to make it clear the agency was not playing favorites.

US regulators warn of tri-party repo risk Financial Times. For Timmie to rouse himself to deem something “unacceptable,” you know it’s bad.

SEC Charges Mizuho Securities USA with Misleading Investors by Obtaining False Credit Ratings for CDO SEC. Per reader MBS Guy:

This was an easy case – Mizuho and Delaware, the deal manager, created a fake pool to get the deal rated by S&P and then switched the collateral after the deal closed. The SEC settlement was a total whitewash – you can hear the Administration whispering in the background “we just need to put all of this stuff behind us…” Zero lessons learned by anyone involved. I’m sure the various defendants were giving each other high fives when the settlement was finalized.

Facing Foreclosure After 50 New York Times. Sad.

* * *

lambert here:

D – 51 and counting*

Americans of all ages, all stations of life, and all types of disposition are forever forming associations… In democratic countries knowledge of how to combine is the mother of all other forms of knowledge; on its progress depends that of all the others. — Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

AZ. Laboratories of democracy: “‘I’m furious at you right now,’ [Sen. Rich] Crandall said in [phone] message for Rep. Brenda Barton, R-Payson. ‘You better not try to run any education legislation next year.’

CA. Foreclosure: “The LA city attorney’s office has filed a lawsuit that accuses U.S. Bancorp of becoming ‘one of the largest slumlords in the city’” (MillySwedge). Why not just give the houses to the homeless? We couldn’t get worse off. … Top two: “In all 81 instances, the minor [emergent] party candidate did not place first or second in the primary and therefore was blocked from the general election campaign.” That’s not a bug. It’s a feature.

CO. Water: “The Bastrop area continues to recover from last year’s disastrous wildfires, but not everyone who fled the area will return. That presents a problem for utilities like Aqua Water Supply Corporation, which is trying to restore water service to as many homes as possible.”

GA. Mass incarceration: “GA prison officials, who denied the existence of a hunger strike its first four weeks, finally acknowledged that some prisoners are on their 36th day without food.” … Mass incarceration: “‘Adequate medical care, 30-day review [of their imprisonment in the Special Management Unit], access to the commissary and personal hygiene items, restored visitation, being able to call home more than once a month, exercise once per day,’ [prisoners wife Delma] Jackson said, listing the demands.” AJC coverage a story in itself.

IA. Water: “Politically, it’s easier to fight for disaster assistance in the event of drought or flood than for policies that might reduce the risk of extreme weather in the future.”

IN. Foreclosure: “The city dinged me for tall weeds at my bank’s house” (JustMe). Read the whole thing. From Muncie, America’s Middletown.

LA. Genius for association: “According to Elizabeth Zibilich, an original member of the group and its ‘minister of disinformation,’ the Noisician Coalition is composed of people from all walks of life who come together with the shared goal of making music and having a great time.”

MN. Corruption, voting: “Based on the findings released by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, Common Cause believes that there is sufficient evidence to proceed with criminal charges against Tony Sutton, the Minnesota Republican Party and the shell corporation that was created – Count Them All Properly, Inc.

NY. Corruption: “[Leonard Litwin,] billionaire New York City condo developer doled out at least $907,080 to state and local officials over the last six months. Any individual, including Litwin, is capped at $150,000. But each LLC is treated as its own individual.” … Water, food: “‘We specialize in collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens. These would normally be twice the size and twice as green. So they’re starting to take discoloration and they’re smaller.'” … Senate Ds fracking forum (video).

OH. Legitimacy: “City council could face political repercussions for wanting to put only four of 17 charter amendments proposed by a citizens committee on the Nov. 6 ballot.” (That’s Marcy Kaptur’s district, and a ground zero for foreclosure resistance.) … Voting: “SoS Jon Husted on Wednesday said the Voters First coalition was more than 130,000 signatures shy of the roughly 385,000 valid signatures needed to get the proposed constitutional amendment [for a citizen’s redistricting commission] before voters.”

OR. Foreclosure: “‘A beneficiary that uses MERS to avoid publicly recording assignments of a trust deed cannot avail itself of a nonjudicial foreclosure process that requires that very thing–publicly recorded assignments,’ the court ruled.” MERS will appeal.

PA. Fracking: “Westmoreland County, where Romney visited a company invested in natural gas drilling, was once a solidly D region that has swung increasingly R in recent years.” No place to go.

VA. Jury nullification: “A jury of six women and one man found an Albemarle County man not guilty of marijuana possession Wednesday night after deliberating just over two hours. Philip Cobbs told jurors that he ‘had no idea’ two waist-high marijuana plants were growing on his 37-acre farm [it is a weed]. … It took nearly two hours to seat a jury. Six potential jurors were stricken for cause. ‘Possession? So what?’ joked one [seated (!!)] female juror.” If either legacy party really cared about small business in the swing state of VA, they’d legalize marijuana immediately.

VT. Energy: “Corporate energy giant TransCanada is appealing the property value assessment of their Bellows Falls hydroelectric dam, seeking to reduce the property’s value by $22 million. [This] would result in a total tax revenue loss of $640,000.”

WA. Voting: “[Y]ou can register to vote using the state’s newest online registration system — one that allows you to do so via Facebook.”

WI. Voting: “Circuit Judge David Flanagan ruled that Wisconsin Act 23, the voter ID law, ‘tells more than 300,000 Wisconsin voters who do not now have an acceptable form of photo identification that they cannot vote unless they first obtain a photo ID card.’ That creates a ‘substantial impairment’ to the right to vote guaranteed by the Wisconsin Constitution.” The State may appeal. … Water: “After declaring a drought emergency for more than half of Wisconsin’s counties last week, Gov. Scott Walker expanded the declaration statewide on Wednesday. [The order] also waives fees and expedites the permitting process to allow farmers to divert water from certain streams and lakes.” Government handout! … Tinpot tyrants: “The complaint by the EEOC against Missoula Mac said since at least 2006, several male employees at the Reedsburg [MacDonalds] subjected female co-workers to sexual harassment, including ‘sexual comments, kissing, touching of their private areas and forcing their hands onto the men’s private parts.’” Settled for $1 million.

Outside baseball. The filbuster, important: “[McConnell] questioned Reid about plans to change the rules to eliminate filibusters of motions to proceed, which must be adopted for the Senate to take up bills. Reid said in a recent radio interview that he would push the rules change if he remains Majority Leader in January. Currently, motions to proceed can be filibustered and 60 votes are needed to overcome that blockade.” Reid and the Ds could have done this in 2009, when they had the House, the Senate, the Presidency, and a mandate for change. They did not. Therefore, passing strong legislation (stimulus package, health care, financial reform) was not their top spriority. … Voting: “The Department of Homeland Security is opening up its immigration database to several battleground states that want to identify and kick off non-citizens from their voter registration rolls.” The data is useless to the states for any legitimate purpose unless they can match the primary keys of their data to the DHS data, which they can’t. But Obama never passes up a chance to reinforce an R talking point, does he? … No true Scotsman: “[JON HUNTSMAN:] True conservatives despise crony capitalism.” … Second world: “57 percent of adults think college is a good investment, down from 81 percent just four years ago.” They’re right. Sadly, it’s a debt scam.

The economy. Bipartisanshi*: “While [64%] say Obama has at least some ownership of the recession, [81%] blame his predecessor, Bush. 46% of registered voters – including more than half of independents – say Obama’s economic policies will never improve the economy. More voters believe the president’s policies will make their economic situation worse (39 percent) than improve it (26 percent). Presumptive R presidential nominee Mitt Romney fares better.”

The trail. TPM: “You’ll note that Obama’s net favorability has only gone into net negative territory for one brief period during his presidency — during the height of the debt ceiling crisis.” And now.

Romney. #FAIL: “This week, the Romney team is going to throw more of a spotlight on Solyndra, charging Chicago-style cronyism led the Obama administration to give loans to the failed solar power company financed in part by Obama donors.” Works only for knuckle-dragging solar h8ters. What Romney can’t say is that Obama’s owned by the banksters. Because he is, and they all are. So, trivia. … Tax returns: “The two D leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives are among hundreds of senators and representatives from both parties who refused to release their tax records.” … Tax returns: “And here’s Mitt on FOX News Monday saying that he’ll release two years and saying if it’s good enough for the wife of John Kerry, it’s good enough for me.” Rich people fighting! How adorable! …. No more Mr. Nice Bot: “‘[T]his is a guy who admitted to cocaine use, had a sweetheart deal with his house in Chicago, and was associated and worked with Rod Blagojevich to get Valerie Jarrett appointed to the Senate,’ the adviser said.” Why don’t they look into caucus fraud in TX 2008? Can’t anyone here play this game?

Obama. Obama to jobless: Drop dead. White House spokeshole Carney: “Obama has not met for six months with the CEOs and others on his Jobs Council in part because he’s simply been too busy.” Alrighty then. … Control freaks: “[Funders,] according to two people present, had their cell phones and any recording devices taken away so the president could speak openly without worrying about it being repeated, tweeted or posted.” Hmm. “Openly…” Control freaks: “The quotations come back redacted, stripped of colorful metaphors, colloquial language and anything even mildly provocative … [T]he press office has veto power over what statements can be quoted and attributed by name.” “Stenographers” — the snark comes true! … Praise from Sir Hubert: “Pause for two beats and pay Prizzi’s Honor-style homage to the ruthless killing machine that is the combined White House-Chicago operation.” Winning the political class! … Hagiography: “[W]hat Obama has built in Chicago: A unique, in-house analytical empire that has developed an unrivaled capacity to churn through voter data and translate insights into tactics.” Winning the political class! (In 2008, Clinton’s campaign ran, not on the web, but on throwaway cell phones because that’s where her margin was: Working people who weren’t surfing. If she’d been granted the delegate count, that would look like GENIUS, not Luddism.) … But just because you’ve got a database doesn’t mean you’ve got good data (CB).

* 51 days until the Democratic National Convention ends with lots and lots of bottled water on the floor of the Bank of America Panther Stadium, Charlotte, NC. There are absolutely no extraterrestrials housed in Area 51.

Antidote du jour:

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  1. CB

    Re: Obama’s “White House-Chicago operation…analytical empire,” I thought Karl Rove was the innovating genius of that discipline. Is another of Obama’s defining characteristics taking credit for other people’s work?

    Never mind, obvious answer. Stock in trade of climbers in any field, actually.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      HA! As Dave Dayen at FDL notes, Obama’s Chicago-style data-mining operation has hit snags in foreclosureville. They must now scramble to craft a new hopey-changey campaign targeting the new Obamaville tent cities, shelters, underpasses, bridges, and residential parking lots. Yes we can!

    2. evodevo

      And of course they replaced Howard Dean and the 50 States GOTV strategy with whoever ….

      As a postal worker, I can testify that a lot of these people will not re-register to vote once they have been uprooted. The DNC is waaay behind this curve, and I don’t know if they will catch up or not.

      Bad situation to be in when every vote counts.

      1. CB

        If I lose my home, I can tell you that re-registering to vote (for the administration that willfully empowered mortgage fraud) won’t be at the top of my to-do list.

    1. CB

      Twentieth century style Soviet Union here we come. That’s the end of the long road of obsession.

  2. YankeeFrank

    I’m just gonna say out loud what we’ve all been thinking: the blogosphere is clearly cat-biased. All this “cat-blogging” and cat pictures is a completely bigoted ignoring of man’s (and woman’s) best friend. I’m mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore! Cats hate people and give us toxoplasmosis. Dogs love people and don’t give us toxoplasmosis. All of this cat-love clearly suggests a strong strain of self-hatred and self-denial of the blogosphere. All of you cat lovers can’t handle the direct and unconditional love that dogs give. All you can handle is the passive aggressive, take it or leave it, mostly indifferent “love” of cats. Face it. You know its true. You KNOW its true.

    Rant over. Glad I got that off my chest. I feel better now. :)

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I am sure science can give us a dog/cat hybrid, dat or cog, that will have the best of both.

    1. skippy

      Kick a Dog and it will still seek affection – self validation via pack mentality… Kick a Cat and you probably have set it against you for life or grovel endlessly till its satisfied you’ve learned your lesson…

      skippy… which of these two conditions best describes the Pavlovian response and the general populations responses to their betters.

    2. MacCruiskeen

      ” All of you cat lovers can’t handle the direct and unconditional love that dogs give.”

      Or looked at another way, we don’t need the slobbery subservience. In order to be domesticated, you have to put yourself in the position of alpha dog of the pack; a dog needs a “master.” It’s a dominant/submissive relationship. I know my cats like me, cats just have different social organization.

      Actually, I like dogs, and animals generally, but I prefer to live with cats.

      1. Neo-Realist

        Cats are lower maintenance–it’s easier scooping a litter box than picking up poop on the sidewalk or the backyard. You don’t have to walk cats either.

    3. Guest

      YankeeFrank, I love dogs, but they drool, lick, and sniff crotches. Obviously, they are two different species with their own unique gifts. Cats can be offish but they as well as dogs have their own personalities and can be amazingly affectionate and not just for food, although they engage in plentiful food-directed manipulation. They are just so beautiful, mysterious, graceful, elegant, and special.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Guest, all above, AND they are independently intelligent.

        “DogPeople” seek OBEDIENT Others, crave being “Master.” DogNeed is a TELL.

        1. YankeeFrank

          Excuse me but that is bull. The idea promoted by certain “trainers” that all dogs need an alpha is garbage. Most dogs live harmoniously with people in a non-hierarchical manner, whereby the one with the greatest need gets the attention at the moment, and whoever that feels strongest about a certain activity or object at a given time will make their feelings known. The “hierarchy” is fluid and not in any way fixed. I often get the feeling with cats that their “love” is more akin to seeing people as scratching posts and food dispensers than as members of a mutual aid and comfort society a/k/a family.

          Oh, and as regards the “easier” maintenance of cats — its good to get off your butt and walk around a couple times a day, and dogs encourage that. Also, the experience of a constantly stinking litter box, and cats that sometimes decide to pee that noxious stuff in random places if you’ve annoyed them in some way, beg to differ.

          Lets face it, cat people have an intrinsically subservient mindset. Cat people also don’t really want a companion and member of the family, they want half a pet. Ask yourself why is it that every shut-in hoarder or other maladapt has a collection of cats they can neglect and half-care for, feeding them and otherwise ignoring their needs for grooming, healthcare, etc. Its the lazy half-committed who take to cats. Cats are good for people who like the idea of having “love” without the messiness of actual commitment. Cats fulfill an important role for the stunted and afflicted who have a “need” to fill without having to engage in anything so messy as love with real people or animals.

          I see I’ve struck a nerve — but its okay sad little cat people, you can live your sad stunted life in your hermetically sealed chamber — no real love will be knocking on your door, as your inability to read an obviously tongue-in-cheek \ poking fun post with the humor it was intended is indicative of your sad, frozen, brittle lives.

          1. Up the Ante


            would David Bowie take great enough offense at being lableled a “maladapt” as to revisit his younger, more brittle days ?


            I can attest to one thing, having observed male dogs when a female is in heat .. dogs are much more social contributors than cats, very much silent observers. When the female is in heat the males will show behaviors you didn’t think were possible for another species to express in relation to humans. Nothing short of astounding, the determination.

          2. Strangely Enough

            “pee that noxious stuff in random places”

            I take it you’ve never had a male dog.

          3. LeonovaBalletRusse

            YF, it’s the human “owner” of the dog who needs “alpha” status: needs to be Master of the obedient (“trained”) dog; confuses submission with “love” from the dog; craves subservience, if not sycophancy of the dog; craves the “unconditional love” of the dog who “lives for the Master” and doesn’t talk back.

            This usually goes with dislike of a cat’s independence and, at times, disdain of the caretaker/enjoyer of the cat’s grace, independence, beauty, shrewdness.

          4. different clue

            I remember an Alfred Hitchcock Show introduction once, which I wish I could link to.

            Alfred is sitting on his stool and a St. Bernard with a neck cask of brandy walks up to him.
            Hitchcock: “Well . . . what have we here . . . Man’s Best Friend.”

            pours a glass of brandy from the cask.
            drinks the brandy. looks into camera.

            ” . . . and a dog, too.”

      1. CB

        Depends on the dog. My border collie always believed she was in charge. (And I don’t believe you can own any living thing, in the sense that “own” is commonly used.)

    4. Bill the Psychologist

      uh…..may I say, lots of “projection” going on…..look it up.

      I love animals too, but prefer to live with dogs. even with all their admittedly disgusting habits…er, I have a few of my own. I have zero interest in the illusion of “controlling” others, but have a great deal of difficulty loving human beings.

      It’s easy to love animals, and the need to love is a basic human need IMHO.

      1. Bill the Psychologist

        “lots of “projection” going on”

        I hasten to add, not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s part of all our relationships, but it’s healthier to recognize it.

    5. YesMaybe

      I think the discussion of cats vs dogs here is missing the point. The question is not which you’d rather have a pet, except indirectly. The real question is which you’d rather see pictures and videos of. Cuteness is a determining factor.

      So, while I share a preference for cats as pets, and I understand why some people prefer dogs, let’s put that aside.

      Now, as far as cuteness goes, I think that puppies are at the same level as cats and kittens. Adult dogs, on the other hand, are (generally speaking) simply not as cute.

      Two conclusions suggest themselves:
      (a) The blogosphere’s bias is not about which are better pets.
      (b) We need more puppy antidotes.

    6. enouf

      heh .. you guys.. heh — you all missed the expression of the kitten;

      bu.. buh .. .. but mama!! …where are you go-ING!!??

      That said;

      I am a dog guy .. but somehow (don’t ask) I ended up with two {adorable, loving} cats! They were 2 months old when i got them, now they’re 2 1/2 years old! .. anyways ..

      While I lean more towards YankeeFrank’s opine, something important has been left out in favor of canines — the fact that a “dog” will fight to the death to protect you from any perceived harm! (ok, you can exclude some Toy breeds, etc.) This *loyalty* connects with the sense of honor and trust in humans. period. As such, this loyalty is not fake, not false, not pseudo in any shape or form … and we all know it. (Yes, dogs can be used as weapons, as can humans .. as can most living creatures and most non-living things) … I’ll stop there at that crossroads for now about all that.

      On the flip-side; my cats are pussies (heh… sorry for the pun).
      That’s not to say they aren’t intelligent (one of the two is a Harvard Grad FFS!) ..and their annoying behaviours and interruptions portrays their incessant need for *attention*!

      Um .. who are the humans that feel the overwhelming *need* for attention?


  3. Jim Haygood

    Today New York’s Times-Titanic excretes a truly extraordinary piece of craven flackery by Mark Leibovich. He ‘reports’ on the launch of an electric car plant in Mississippi by GreenTech, a company started by former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe:

    Leibovich, agog with the access granted to him by Bill Clinton and Haley Barbour who were there to cut the ribbon, gushes on for four pages about sharing ‘tumblers of Makers Mark’ with Barbour, and even retails some of their bawdy jokes. On page 4, the journo’s New York provincialism gets exposed, as Leibovich confesses that he don’t know what lagniappe means (standard vocab in New Orleans and the Gulf South).

    Get this: in an article about a supposedly transformative new electric vehicle, Leibovich writes nothing at all about the car. But he devotes a single sentence to a curious aside: ‘People designated as V.I.P.’s kept streaming through, many in from China, where GreenTech is building an 18-million-square-foot facility.’

    The reason for the Chinese connection ain’t hard to suss out, in some news reportage by Jeff Cobb at

    Originally GreenTech was an offshoot of Hybrid Kinetic Motors, founded by Yang Rong, the former CEO of Chinese automaker, Brilliance.

    But wait — there’s more. Much more:

    As for this week’s Mississippi plans, GreenTech has found it expedient to “rely heavily” on funding provided by the “EB-5” Immigrant Investor Program.

    This federal program provides green cards and permanent residency to foreign nationals and their families who contribute $500,000 or more to a successful business in rural areas and areas of high unemployment.

    You can easily deduce that the “V.I.P.’s” are clueless small Chinese investors who have just forked over $500,000 for a green card, believing they are investing in a politically-connected U.S. company sponsored by a former president (which in China would indeed be a form of security).

    And the beat goes on, according to Cobb:

    The term used by Automotive News writer Charles Child is that the plan is “dead on arrival,” and he also wrote:

    “Bold auto visions are fine. But they require staggering amounts of money and manpower. And there’s no tangible indication that McAuliffe has either.”

    Child reported that GreenTech of McLean, Va. has around 50 employees, and hopes by year’s end to have 100. In contrast, just to expand its advanced-tech research and development, GM has hired around 2,000 engineers, let alone other employees.

    And while it makes for a great sound bite to promise the first 100,000 MyCars for $10,000 apiece, consider that International Market Solutions showed the U.S. market for NEVs last year was less than 26,000 units.

    Skeptical yet? Why not consult someone else who actually knows something about cars:

    Truth About Cars editor Edward Niedermeyer expressed plainly,
    “I’ve only been blogging about the car industry for about three and a half years, but I’ve seen this movie way too many times before,” he said. “Today there’s no excuse for anyone to be taken in by such an unimaginative, played-out scam.

    Uh-oh! He said the S-word — SCAM!

    GreenTech is the hideous love child of Solyndra and Whitewater. This absurd swindle is gonna hit the wall. Investors will lose all of their money. But at least the Chinese “V.I.P.’s” will get to keep their green cards, and their photos of shaking Clinton’s hand.

      1. ambrit

        Dear LBR;
        Yeah you rite! We never did find out about the millions of dollars slated for Gulf Coast clean up after the hurricane which disappeared after close encounters with Barbours’ daughter. Or the community rebuilding money he and his cronies diverted to the Port of Gulfport expansion, which was later declared illegal by the feds and clawed back.
        As for the Dixie Mob, like Barbarosa, they slept in a secret cave deep in the Heart of Dixie, Kennesaw Mountain, until called back to restore the fallen glory of the Feudal Paternal Southland. Quick boys! A few bars of “The Bonnie Blue Flag!”

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Why so skeptical? Terry McAuliffe is the consummate, irrepressible car salesman. Trust me, he’s looking out for your interests alone, and he knows just how to handle that cagey sales manager there behind the glass. If he can’t do it, nobody can.

    2. steve williams

      america is no longer a rent seeking economy, it’s a scam seeking economy. this fits right in. you gotta problem with that?

    3. Up the Ante

      “GreenTech has found it expedient to “rely heavily” on funding provided by the “EB-5” Immigrant Investor Program. ”

      “the hideous love child ”

      Those two quotes remind me of, yup, .. IBM.

        1. Up the Ante

          “how so ?”, is it ?

          “a level of abstraction bordering on delusion ”
          “the hideous love child ”

          “.. at Hilton, the IBM contract was a nightmare. IBM couldn’t keep Hilton’s Exchange servers running. The SAN in the Raleigh data center hasn’t worked right since it supposedly came up in January, with some SAN outages lasting more than a day. IBM couldn’t monitor Hilton’s servers in the IBM data center. Hilton had to tell IBM when the servers were running low on disk space, for example. ” [super-lol]

          ServiceMaster: ‘IBM just won’t WORK!’ [lol]

          the love child
          “IBM is turning itself into something very different. ”
          “IBM decided to deliberately cheat its customers. The result is today’s IBM, rotten to the core. ”

          the hideous

          Problems Plague New Air Traffic Control Computers

          The Looting, the Deluded
          “The direct impetus for this column is IBM’s internal plan to grow earnings-per-share (EPS) to $20 by 2015. The primary method for accomplishing this feat, according to the plan, will be by reducing US employee head count by 78 percent in that time frame. ”


          so, govt. contract sop

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One’s home is the sweetest place in the world.

      It should be.

      It’s not we should be against immigrants, but we need to understand and address why people are forced to leave their homes.

      Corruption leads to political instability to people paying $500K exit money ahead of another revolution.

      Yes, we can use those 50 or 100 jobs. But a healthy economy should have most of its needed capital locally. We should address the root causes of the problem.

      Again, yes, with our demographics, our pension system needs young, productive immigrants. Not that we should be against that, but it’s a selfish way of looking at it. Again, one’s home is the sweetest place and the root cause of the pension problem is in the faulty design of the pension system itself for failing to anticipate future life expectancy, among other problems. The key lesson here is how to avoid it in other future programs; otherwise, we would like the Romans whose military commitments, in order to pillage foreign lands, requireed foreign soldiers towards the empire’s end. They probably believed it to be a virtual cycle. A better solution for them was to stop the pillaging, so that many Britons or Nubians might tour the capital and exchange ideas, but you wouldn’t see them working far from their homes, victims of Rome’s intriguing with their own leaders.

    5. Strangely Enough

      “a [car] company started by former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe”

      If he builds cars like he runs campaigns, we’re going to need a hell of a lot more auto insurance.

  4. bulfinch

    Maybe it’s that languorous deadpan of Chris Hedge’s, but I always used to subconciously steer away from his televised interviews. Now, everytime I read something of his or watch an interview, I realize my loss. I’m always impressed by this man.

    The interview above is one of his most thought-provoking, with a lot of little interesting threads shot throughout — including how Chris was a boxer in his college days. There’s one part in the interview where he (remorsefully) describes how he once served up a batch of knuckle sandwiches to a couple of gangbangers — shortly followed by a narrowly escaped reprisal from the same gentlemen.

    Long, but worth it.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Listening to speeches is ok.

        But nothing beats audiance participation.

        And here, reasonable commentors have as much a chance to contribute as any.

        Let him come here and we can all exchange opinions.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      I used to get bored by Hedges but was impressed by his arguments.

      Now I can’t stand him because I suspect he’s working for the bad guys.

      This is classic “Scary Truth” Hedges; he’s telling us the hard truth and predicting a scary future. And guess what, I agree with this analysis!

      But he’s not saying all this to help us fix it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      He’s saying this to terrorize us and weaken us.

      I’ll should stop here because I don’t know how else to describe the subtle manipulation Hedges is up to . . . but he’s up to no good!

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        It seems Hedges may be the bridge between the 99%, and whatever members of the .01% Global Reich DNA and its .99% Agency have something to gain by Regime Change that offers Economic Justice to the 99% within a Just Real Economy of Michael Hudson’s design. There is always the desire and the means to overturn kings and queens via strategic regime change.

        See Shakespeare’s Richard III, and Macbeth, inter alia.

        Highly recommended is “Roman Polanski’s Film of MACBETH” with screenplay by Roman Polanski and Kenneth Tynan, based on the play by William Shakespeare — Directed by Roman Polanski, Executive Producer: Hugh M. Hefner, Produced by Andrew Braunsberg (1971, renewed 1999 Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc. and Playboy Entertainment Group, Inc.; DVD 2002, Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment).

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Thanks for the movie suggestion. Polanski was an interesting character and this is an interesting time and the movie has interesting people connected to it.

          But I don’t think Hedges is trying to enact a strategic peaceful revolution.

          It’s more like a strategic mindfuck against the 99%.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            WWM, do you think the .01% will disappear? Are you in a position to advise Chris Hedges? Is he not also an American? Are you rooting for “Armageddon” on the lines of Rev. Haggi’s diatribes and the “Left Behind” series? Would you welcome the Terror Redux?

            Why shouldn’t we try to find a feasible transition into a Just Systems of Economics and Self-Governance/Government in C.21, acknowledging the extreme difficulty of this in light of the power of our Criminal Overlords? Do you think that a reasonable outcome to our current crisis is desirable?

          2. Walter Wit Man

            WWM, do you think the .01% will disappear?

            No. I’m not good at math but I’m pretty sure about this.

            Are you in a position to advise Chris Hedges?

            If by some chance he’s reading my comments, then he’s been duly served. Other than that, no. He would not be interested in hearing me anyway–cause he’s a perp.

            Is he not also an American?

            Yeah, so what?

            Are you rooting for “Armageddon” on the lines of Rev. Haggi’s diatribes and the “Left Behind” series? Would you welcome the Terror Redux?

            Nope. I’m rooting for a socialist/anarchist heaven. ;)

            Why shouldn’t we try to find a feasible transition into a Just Systems of Economics and Self-Governance/Government in C.21, acknowledging the extreme difficulty of this in light of the power of our Criminal Overlords? Do you think that a reasonable outcome to our current crisis is desirable?

            Of course a reasonable transition is desirable. But Hedges’ “reasonable transition” is a trap, imho.

        2. JTFaraday

          “Hedges may be the bridge between the 99%, and whatever members of the .01% Global Reich DNA and its .99% Agency”

          Hell to the no. They already burnt that bridge all the way down.

          Hedges lost his job at the NY Times for giving an anti-Iraq war speech, (granted, at a college graduation speech which may have been in poor taste, but nevertheless).

          He also used to teach journalism, which he doesn’t seem to do anymore, but Iraq war boosters Paul Berman and Peter Beinart– who never used to teach it before– sure do now…

          Priorities, people. Priorities.

          1. Walter Wit Man

            Do you know if this is the speech that led to Chris Hedges’ resignation?

            Seems planned to me. Just like his Occupy speech in front of the White House under falling snow.

            And they even cut off his microphone, shouted “USA”, and used an air horn!

          2. JTFaraday

            So, Graeber and all those Situationist International influenced anarchists will tell you that protest is all about the theater, and that’s okay, but Hedges, Cornell West etc aren’t permitted to have theirs?

            I totally agree that Hedges is a business not a revolutionary, probably has some resources– including a particular kind of liberal moralistic cultural capital that he’d be loathe to surrender– and so while he wants to see things change, he only wants so much. I take all upper middle class portfolio watches with a grain of salt and advise others to do so as well, so I’m being consistent here.

            These sorts of academics and writers were crawling all over OWS. Jonathan Schell was also a war correspondent and he effectively didn’t say anything different from Hedges (when it came to all that Black Bloc-like stuff)– he just didn’t have that sense of divine retribution going for him when he said it.

            But that doesn’t mean Hedges didn’t have real differences with Management, and hiring Paul Berman as well as Peter Beinart–who is a real dis-info case, him and his instant conversion to human decency– into very scare full time journalism faculty jobs (in a very insular field) around the same time they’re laying off Hedges is perfectly illustrative of that difference.

            That may be distinction without a difference to you, but I disagree. Perhaps you didn’t follow the attempt to silence dissent in the press and blogosphere in the run up to the Iraq war, but if you research Beinart half as thoroughly as you’ve poured over Hedges, you will get a real education.

            As for the “resignation” matter, when you have a falling out with your employer but also have sufficient cultural capital or grounds for disputing their preference that you leave, everyone just calls it a resignation, signs a non-disparagement agreement, and spares themselves the aggravation. As you pointed out, he’s not starving.

            I don’t have the Behind the Music story on this, just some coincidences that seem indicative of shifts in the zeitgeist that make me think it’s likely that you’re misconstruing him.

            It’s as if you believe that there is a very narrow range of acceptable opinion, but that no one ever gets cremated for it. That doesn’t make any sense– how do you think they enforce that narrow range in the first place?

          3. Walter Wit Man

            Thanks for the tip about Paul Berman and Peter Beinart. I would like to look into them as I did with Hedges today.

            But basically I think it’s safe to assume most reporters writing for the New York Times are compromised. And notice how Hedges was Bureau Chief during the lead up to the Iraq war but he escaped with his reputation intact because he wrote a book and gave a speech after the war started. He makes excuses for the New York Times coverage of the Iraq war and he didn’t resign because of the New York Times biased coverage on critical issues in the Middle East. No, he resigned because he didn’t want to be “muzzled” in graduation ceremonies, or something. He knew it was “professional suicide” when he gave the speech. (1:55 he talks about leaving the NYT)

            It’s possible I’m misconstruing him. I really liked him at one point, even if I found him boring (now I realize it might be another quality I was observing).

            But all the facts, in toto, are suspicious.

      2. Neo-Realist

        Maybe he’s providing a “literature hangout” to those who are really paying attention.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Yeah, I think that may be part of the strategy. Of course selling books is profitable too and a nice side effect.

          I sometimes question myself because my perp list is getting so long . . . but I swear I’m just following the facts as I see them . . . but I also suspect Christopher Hitchens and Salmon Rushdie of being part of a similar operation.

          In fact, in Hedges’ CSpan video we’re watching today he references the Iraq War debate he had with Hitchens. And I remember that! So I imagine it was a literary, academic, pundit type hangout strategy. A very similar audience to what the New York Times has. People that would go to campus to watch Hitchens and Hedges debate.

          Plus there is the religious angle.

          Plus, he’s inserting himself into these stories with the claimed experience with the Iranian regime, etc. Just like Rushdie did and maybe Hitchens to a little bit.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      The story about beating up the boys using his boxing skills sounds like bullshit to me.

      He claims he got into a dispute with two neighborhood boys in a bad part of Boston when he was in divinity school. He feels guilty about being a white privileged person who “used all the mechanisms of authority [against the boys], which he moved to Roxbury to defy.”

      He beat them up (because he caught them raping a 14 year old girl), threw them off street (for selling heroin), went to police to report petty crimes, reported truancy to the school officials, and took the circuit breakers out of the vacant house the boys were living in.


      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        WWM, to read the book in which this experience is recounted full, “LOSING MOSES ON THE HIGHWAY” by Chris Hedges, is to comprehend.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Edit: “LOSING MOSES ON THE FREEWAY” (sorry, exhausted from a too-long hot walk).

  5. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Re Link: Zibilich in LA – Don’t mess with the original Yugoslavs of New Orleans down through the Mississippi Delta.

  6. LeonovaBalletRusse

    “Each LLC treated as its own individual” – How is it possible that a Limited Liability Corporation can be considered an Individual, a Person? Is any Citizen of flesh and blood limited in liability for committing murder–or for being a small-time pot dealer for that matter?

    The Supremes-Made Division of Constitutional Law into The Law of the 1% and The Law of the 99% must end. Cry treason.

  7. JGordon

    Huh, I saw that Chris Hedges interview like a year ago. Why the delay? But then, when you’ve seen one Chris Hedges interview you’ve seen them all.

    I like speakers like Dimitry Orlov a lot better, who are a lot more varied in delivery and who actually have effective advice for actions and attitude adjustments useful for surving collapsing empires.

  8. tyaresun

    The entire credit card industry sells these credit insurance products that are useless. Instead of fining Capital One the consumer protection bureau should ban these products.

    An important predictor of credit risk is whether a customer has bought one of these products or not, because if they have, they are completely clueless about finance in general and credit cards in particular.

  9. jsmith

    As much as what Hedges say is true and interesting, 9/11 will always be a litmus test for me in deciding who to listen to.

    If a person will not admit – like Hedges, Chomsky, et al – that the offical story of 9/11 is laughable nonsense then I simply don’t really care what they say or opine on that elevates them to positions of being stalwart giants of “progressive” or leftish opposition.

    Sure, what these “lions” of the opposition say may make sense and they may seemingly paint an accurate picture of our society but do TPTB really care if they spend 3 hours telling us the American Empire is dead?

    Do they really care if Hedges or Chomsky tell us again and again what kind of society we’re slipping into?

    No, they don’t as they know full well the audience for Hedges and Chomsky is way too small and ineffective.

    Conversely, judging from the hysterical responses concerning people’s questioning of the events of 9/11 – e.g., “truther”, etc – we do know that the TPTB really do care if someone starts to stray down that road, huh?

    A goverment – at the very least – allowing its own people to be murdered is a bit more interesting and easier to understand than yet another lecture from a university prof, right?

    Forgive me for bringing this up again but:

    I say this not to invite another discussion on the merits of the official story of 9/11.

    I say this not to get in a back and forth about the merits of Hedges’ other ideas.

    I just want to say that as an American citizen, the official story of 9/11 is a litmus test by which I can determine how much I can trust anything else a person says no matter how accurate or seemingly honest.

    Believe and support said fairy tale, I can only travel so far with you no matter how much I may agree with everything else you say.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Well done jsmith. You are able to keep your wits about you in the face of a propaganda assault.

      This issue is also a litmus test issue with me as well.

      For me the war on Syria (and Libya) is also becoming a litmus test.

      Oh, and people that think the Democratic party is a viable change party.

      1. LeeAnne

        thanks for the link. kinda lost track of what ole Bill’s been up to.

        oh, what a line! the stage presence -a show of indignation from a hypocritical liar as he bullies from his borrowed bully pulpit surrounded and protected by legions of security assured of having the last word.

        The only thing Bill Clinton had left after his presidency was his relative poverty -relative to the people he served. Now even that’s shot.

    2. Ray Duray


      I agree with your litmus test.

      Yesterday, Alternet published an interview featuring Dr. David Ray Griffin.

      While the interviewer is a complete putz, what was interesting to me is that the article elicited about 800% of the normal response via comments. This is a vital topic. And what is somewhat encouraging is that in spite of the editor’s efforts to toward willful blindness, the commentariat seemed to be having none of it.

      People know that 9/11 was a false flag operation. Though they might not actually be able to define what a false flag is.

      1. Up the Ante

        I trust this consolidation will be uneventful ?

        “The FAA plans to consolidate 49 aging air traffic facilities in the Northeast down to four .. The goal is to finish the four new facilities by 2023. ”

        “In February, President Barack Obama signed legislation to modernize the nation’s aviation system, speeding up the switch from radar to an air traffic control system based on GPS technology. ”

        That will be an interesting transition to watch, when the ARSR-4 radars become purely military use.

        No FAA decision yet on Northeast air center locale

    3. LeonovaBalletRusse

      jsmith, you posit an excellent standard of veracity. They must come clean on 9/11, since they definitely are in a position to know.

  10. jack hepler

    Lambert re donations;
    Your impressive energy expenditure warrants a fifty from me. Unfortunately my pensioner status means we must wait til August 1 for said recompense. Send up a reminder then….
    And maybe this promise buys me a line of advice for you: The amount of reading you must do kills brain cells. Relax. Choose ten or twelve articles per day, the classic, the pungent, the electric……

  11. Ray Duray

    Hi Lambert,

    Re: “CO. Water: “The Bastrop area continues to recover…”

    A minor correction: Bastrop is in Texas, just east of Austin.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      RD, there is a Bastrop in Louisiana, and who knows where else. What is the significance of the name, wouldn’t you like to know?

  12. briansays

    i’m assuming if mitt does not close the electoral vote gap (not the popular vote which is closer) by say early october wall street will start to double down on campaign $$ if the reporting won’t occur until after the election to assure what is bought stays bought

    from jesse

    ”The Election of Obama was one more triumph of illusion over substance. It was a skillful manipulation and betrayal of the public by the corporate power elite. We mistook style and ethnicity – an advertising tactic pioneered by Calvin Klein and Benetton – for progressive politics and genuine change. Obama functioned as a brand. In 2008, Wall Street was afraid they would be found out and have to pay a criminal penalty for their fraud. Obama was chosen.” Chris Hedges

  13. LeeAnne

    Chris Hedges is a great man. He has been forced to sacrifice his career for his integrity. Its very difficult for serious people with alternative views to get published
    today. Hedges is a writer by profession and a lecturer.

    Much as I agree that 9/11 truth deniers are willfully ignorant; its too much to ask of any one person to stand up for every issue in this atmosphere where all institutions that haven’t already are collapsing. In the case of Hedges, he needs to be heard and he needs to be published. Going out on a limb on 9/11 could get him blacklisted.

    Particularly where 99% of the population are not supportive of alternative views to MSM, the people still able to practise their livlihood in spite of their alternative views deserve our support.

    When they’re criticized I believe it should be on specific issues they choose to support.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      How has Chris Hedges sacrificed his career? Pretty much every blogger around would kill for the writing opportunities he has. He’s massively supported by corporation–just look at the mentions he gets (granted, his corporate masters conceal this support by sticking mostly to the “alternative” press).

      I’m sure he has plenty of money too.

      Also, this is not an issue to strategically retreat on. This is why it’s a litmus test issue for some of us.

      Lastly, even on the issues Chris Hedges chooses to speak on, he’s duplicitous. I won’t bore you with a detailed analysis, but if you look closely at what he’s doing he’s actually attacking the very things he’s pretending to support. Occupy is a perfect example. He’s signing a siren song attracting liberal people into his trap. He’s asking them to stand up and put gears in the system . . . and then when some Occupiers answer his call he calls them a “cancer.”

      And it’s not just anarchists Hedges is smearing–he’s targeting a number of protesters he doesn’t like.

      I suspect Hedges is a disinformation agent and purposely sowing division.

      1. JTFaraday

        Sure, it’s possible that Hedges’ failure to line up one-for-one with people throwing their weight around in the world of NY journalism– while also failing to line up one-for-one with your perspective– means that he is a deliberate dis-info plant who works secretly with them or for the government, but it’s also possible that it’s just him.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          1. In the linked video Hedges defends the New York Times and calls them honest–so he seems to line up with them nicely (he supports imperial humanitarian wars like the Times as well). He further says he resigned after 15 years of reporting for the Times, and 7 years as Middle East Bureau Chief, because he felt the New York Times didn’t want him to give critical speeches outside of his work for the paper. I don’t know why people give him so much credit for this when the much more laudable action would have been to improve the New York Times reporting. He was hawking books at the time too. I am now very curious about the Times Kosovo reporting and wonder if it was a truthful as he claims.

          2. There are lots of people I disagree with on almost every issue . . . but are the peculiar facts about Hedges that raise my suspicions. It is true my suspected perp list is getting longer . . . but it’s not my fault there are so many complicit perps.

          I admit I could be wrong though. I simply have a strong suspicion based on all the circumstantial facts listed below (he supports Israel, capitalism, the New York Times, thinks Iran wants nukes, thinks 9/11 was NOT an inside job, was a witness to 9/11, wants humanitarian war, oh, and calls on people to resist the system by getting arrested and when they do he calls them a cancer and wants them expelled and/or arrested).

          1. JTFaraday

            I don’t, WWM. I give you real thugs, and you’re still all over the muddle along in their wake crowd.

      2. Up the Ante

        “He’s asking them to stand up and put gears in the system . . . and then when some Occupiers answer his call he calls them a “cancer.” ”

        One of ‘the godless’, to wit.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          I was trying to reference the language Hedges himself used and flubbed it.

          In this video he calls for resistance and used language about throwing sand or something into the gears of the machinery (I won’t look for the exact quotes now).

          In the CSPAN video he says appeals to the government won’t work–people need to get arrested. But then he turns on the people that answer his call and wants to exclude them from his movement and creates unneeded division.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            WWM, this video took place just after the publication of “DEATH OF THE LIBERAL CLASS” by Chris Hedges (2010) didn’t it? So it’s dated. I agree he should come clean about 9/11, especially now that the momentum for revealing the truth is growing to critical mass status, but you might want to cut him some slack, considering that he is a human being with requisite imperfection. He seems to be quite a wise strategic thinker, and quite brave to go as far as he does, evolving in leadership day by day. He must choose his battles wisely to survive.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Great men are ok.

      But we must each find the great man (or great woman) within.

      I know some people won’t like to read this, but I believe each of us is or is capable of being a savior (OK, secular savior). Stop looking outside for him.

          1. enouf

            Hi ambrit;
            Luck and Chance have absolutely no power – on the other hand “good fortune” can be a sign of the Providence (within/divine/spiritual) at work ;-)


  14. walt

    Democrats who signed letter to CFPB:
    1. Baca, Joe (D-CA)
    11. Boswell, Leonard (D-IA)
    17. Clarke, Hansen (D-MI)
    19. Connolly, Gerald (D-VA)
    20. Cooper, Jim (D-TN)
    22. Critz, Mark (D-PA)
    24. DeFazio, Peter (D-OR)
    44. Himes, Jim (D-CT)
    51. Kaptur, Marcy (D-OH)
    64. Matheson, Jim (D-UT)
    69. Murphy, Chris (D-CT)
    79. Quigley, Mike (D-IL)
    88. Ross, Mike (D-AR)
    92. Schrader, Kurt (D-OR)
    95. Scott, David (D-GA)
    98. Sherman, Brad (D-CA)

  15. kevinearick

    The Looking Glass: Labor’s Perspective

    New family labor pursued dc automation to off stupid, efficient, busy work onto machines, in a quantum negative feedback development, to the end of improving gravitational performance. Legacy capital pursued dc automation to marginalize labor, incrementally stepping up stupid, efficient, busy work, based upon the theory that intellect trumps physics, is its own end, and upon the assumption that the universe is a closed system, which is a self-fulfilling prophesy, until it’s not. The universe creates and destroys relative dimensions accordingly.

    Labor separated from spirit over time, failing to seek the unknown, to be of the unknown, is not physics. And intellect, in and of itself, is simply a reductive transmission system in a positive feedback loop, a pattern matcher, albeit in multiple dimensions. Aging labor, sans spirit, the semi-neutral insulator conductor, simply responds autonomously to environmental stimulus. Together, sans spirit, the only possible outcome is replication acceleration, efficiency, a separation of charge in a short, implicitly controllable by spirit. The relativity circuit is a return, extending time accordingly.

    Begin with a simple circuit – supply, return and meter. Add delays faster than the circuit can detect addition, by increasing top-down complexity. The old devices will “detect” birth, life, and death, as noise in the cabinet. All devices are motors, transducers, blah, blah, blah. The atom is not static, though it may appear to be relatively static. The spirit provides negative feedback balance. Without it, life is tuned out.

    Legacy, labor that has fallen into derivative capital, assumes that complex electronic control of antiquated and mechanically simple humans is more versatile and cheaper than nature, that others are at least as stupid as they are, because so many are so willing to abandon their own designs for that of others, which the empire reinforces, on reality TV. As some tune the empire out, the less energetic are captured, transforming the middle class into a self-defeating insulator. Add impurity as required for your semi-conductor.

    Take a good look at that reflection in the glass again. Do you see yourself, empire, or God? Take another look at History, through the eyes of others. Begin with the definition of beauty, through paint. The world is what you make of it, aggregated.

    You were granted free will at birth. By now, you should see that human law follows behavior, not the other way around. Don’t let your eyes fool you. They are connected to a machine, specifically constructed to do so. Don’t be so quick to sell your free will for a few pieces of shiny metal, script, or anything else, but if you choose to do so, to believe in good and evil, the big, bad empire, don’t expect all others to follow your example.

    Look around. How many effective parents do you see? Who is driving the rabbits out of school, which the dogs chase to improve overall performance? Who is creating crime out of thin air, to remove the example of effective behavior from the streets? Who is selling your children drugs, at a cost increasingly in excess of salaries, all at the company store?

    If you were the boss, how difficult would it be to discern effective work ethic in this environment? Do you really think you can fool God, within an empire that is constructed to believe it is God?

    I am a parent, with more children than the empire, which bets all against me, can count. Gravity is gravity is gravity, a shared perspective of false assumptions. Drive right through it. Define yourself with reciprocal separation from others, equal but different. Parenting is a function of will unencumbered by false assumptions, and children learn by example.

    I throw my kids right into the empire churn pool. Those with the will to swim out I train. They hate me at first, but grow increasingly loyal with discernment. If it’s war the empire chooses, war it will be. Iran and Saudi Arabia are irrelevant. I can’t speak for others, but don’t expect my kids not to charge straight through the line and decapitate the empire’s leaders. There is no shortage of gravity in the universe.

    From the empire’s perspective, kids are weapons, which is why it must adopt more and more laws, with more and more exceptions for itself, just to exist, if you call a machine existence. My dad taught me to expect Statey, and I taught mine, with exponential growth. You do as you like, but stupidity is not bliss.

    I could care less if Kissinger and Co. thinks it’s a bully, or has an empire of followers, in Israel or the US. F-ing cavedwelling lobbyists couldn’t work one day on a real job if their life depended upon it, and sooner or later it will. Wh-s on earth or in heaven are not my prerogative. Prepare for labor reflation like your life depends upon it, because it does, regardless of who occupies the White Shanty. Don’t stand in the way of a bulldozer and expect a happy outcome.

    Time is misdirection for the weak of heart. Buy all you want. Attack at will, but don’t assume anonymity and expect anything other than your own self-destruction. The Law is simple. You are better off with the devil you know than the devil you don’t, regardless of time, KISS. My kids don’t hide in caves, begging for retread derivative empire weapons. They are, experienced weapons.

    Don’t f- with other people’s family, or expect the favor in return. Do unto others…police your own.

  16. Walter Wit Man

    I’m listening to the 3 hour interview with Hedges and he’s discussing why he left the New York Times.

    It’s more bullshit.

    You’re telling me the freaking Middle East Bureau Chief for New York Times for 7 years, and a 15 year correspondent, all of a sudden has issues with what the New York times will let him talk about? Funny that he didn’t have these issues until he started selling books and becoming a pundit. Maybe he should have focused his attention on what the New York Times reporting rather than his personal books and lectures, etc.

    No, I’m guessing this was planned. He’s establishing his liberal bona fides by leaving the New York Times because of his conscience. He’s on the Nation board. He’s taught at the Columbia School of Journalism. He’s heavily promoted by lots of different people.

    His whole story doesn’t smell right.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Too Funny.

      Hedges defends the New York Times to a critical caller.

      He claims they are not corrupt!!

      Sure, he says, they served as naive and unwitting propagandists in Iraq. . . and yet . . . there are a lot of people there that care about the truth there.

      Then he talks about Sarajevo and writing the “truth.” I would be interested in reviewing his writing from this era to see if he was writing the “truth.” From his other talks I’ve heard him support Clinton’s bombing campaign.

      He also claims to support capitalism earlier in the interview.

      So he supports capitalism, military ventures, the New York Times, and attacks anarchists.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      Great, he’s also got a “great affection for Israel.” He chose not to learn Hebrew when he lived in Jerusalem for 2 years because in the Middle East you can get thrown in jail if Hebrew words are mixed in with Arabic, he claims.

      But that didn’t stop him from being arrested by Iraq and Iran! Our hero has all the necessary bona fides!

    3. Walter Wit Man

      This is too much!!!!!

      Hedges: “My best guess is that the Iranian regime is trying to build a nuclear weapon.”

      So Hedges represents a radical viewpoint that doesn’t make it in the MSM enough?

      1. patricia

        Going down your path, WWM, one might wonder whether you yourself are a gov’t asset for the way you regularly pick on people like Hedges and Chomsky.

        And if one wanted to go even further down the path, one might begin to suspect that you are a secret fascist for the hard line you take towards all those who don’t believe exactly what you believe.

        But that would be silly.

  17. Jessica

    I have read from a number of people lately that 1) They know 9/11 to be a false flag operation. 2) They consider accepting that to be a minimum criterion for taking someone seriously.
    Clearly for you to take this kind of stand, 9/11 being a false flag operation is a core truth for you. But what I think I am reading is that it is important both for itself and for what it tells us: that we have a criminal and tyrannical elite. If you were willing to join with all those who recognize that this is the kind of leaders we have, whether or not they believe that our criminal elite actually committed that particular crime, I believe we would all be stronger.
    I am inferring an argument that would say that if people only knew the truth about what really happened on 9/11, then they would listen, think, and act differently. It would shatter their illusions. If this argument is true, then it would also follow that anyone who denied that 9/11 was a false flag operation would be impeding the awakening of the people and as such was helping the elite.
    However, if the argument that knowing the truth about 9/11 would change people does not hold, then those who deny that 9/11 was a false flag operation are not necessarily working to the benefit of the elite.
    I agree that if this were a matter of a debate among purely rational actors, 9/11 as false flag would be a powerful lever for shifting people’s understanding. But we are human beings. Particularly when it comes to our core beliefs, we do not shift easily and we are much swayed by our own individual experiences and by our hopes and fears for the future. The effectiveness of the entire contemporary propaganda apparatus since its inception in the selling of WW1 to the American people is based on the illogical nature of much of how we think.
    In this case, I believe the cauality will much of the time run in the opposite direction: rather than people accepting the false flag nature of 9/11, then seeing the criminality of our elite; instead people will have to first be ready to see the criminality of the elite and only then will they be psychologically able to accept the possibility of how monstrously they were lied to and manipulated.
    To put this a different way: which would you prefer, that the American people come to believe that 9/11 was a false flag operation but do nothing with the knowledge. Or that they join you in seeing our elite as criminal, whether the door that leads them to that understanding is Iraq, foreclosures, health care abuse, student debt, 9/11, the class cleansing of the American working class, the massive society-wide destruction caused by the kleptocracy, or sometthing else?
    I wrote this because I have read bright people who put a lot of time into understanding how things actually work and who are making 9/11 a litmus test. I understand that when one has studied a subject at depth and thought about it critically, it is natural to want folks to agree with you. All the more so, if the propaganda apparatus is devoted to painting you as some kind of kook to be ignored. Nonetheless, I think it would a real waste if 9/11 became a dividing point even among those (still a minority) able and willing to see the criminality of our current leaders.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      I have read from a number of people lately that 1) They know 9/11 to be a false flag operation. 2) They consider accepting that to be a minimum criterion for taking someone seriously. . . . Nonetheless, I think it would a real waste if 9/11 became a dividing point even among those (still a minority) able and willing to see the criminality of our current leaders.

      The problem is that people that “don’t get” 9/11 are missing a critical piece of information. What good are any reforms going to do if you don’t even know half the crimes? The implications of how they did 9/11 are so huge that it can’t help but shake one’s whole faith in the system. That’s the problem. It’s hard to convince someone the system is rotten to the core unless they see it revealed through something like the 9/11 attacks.

      There is a HUGE difference between thinking Obama is doing the best he can to KNOWING that there is a military-banker-complex secretly running our government and society. In fact, WE are the biggest terrorists in the world.

      So you see why it’s hard to accept people into your ranks who refuse to look at the most damning evidence against our opponent? Are these people really assets?

      But I make a distinction between people who should know and those who just aren’t aware yet. Chris Hedges is aware of enough of the facts that he *should* know that his approach is unreasonable. The propaganda machine is so powerful I don’t blame most people from falling victim to the propaganda. Hell, two years ago I didn’t question the official version of 9/11 much.

      Plus, there is a third category, someone who is a participant, like Chris Hedges. He claims to be a witness on 9/11 and I have doubts about his story because many of the “jumpers” were faked.

      From Hedge’s piece:

      Scores of people, perhaps more than 200, pushed through the smoke and heat to jump to their deaths from windows that had broken or they had smashed. Sometimes they did this alone, sometimes in pairs. But it seems they took turns, one body cascading downward followed by another. The last acts of individuality. They fell for about 10 seconds, many flailing or replicating the motion of swimmers, reaching 150 miles an hour. Their clothes and, in a few cases, their improvised parachutes made from drapes or tablecloths shredded. They smashed into the pavement with unnerving, sickening thuds. Thump. Thump. Thump. Those who witnessed it were particularly shaken by the sounds the bodies made on impact.

      He goes on a bit longer about jumpers.

        1. ambrit

          Dear WWM;
          Hmmm… The vast majority of the internally linked YouTube videos were, to put it mildly, censored by the YouTube folks. I’m beginning to understand a lot of the b——g I hear about the ‘bogus’ nature of that ‘social’ media outlet. Makes me feel a bit smug and self-righteous about my semi-Luddite life style. Nobody’s perfect, least of all me.

          1. Walter Wit Man

            Yes indeed. Many good threads on those sites are diminished now because the links are no longer good. Most of that occurred with the legal change (or maybe it was a youtube policy) within the last year, I’m afraid I can’t remember the details. It’s also interesting that the videos that support the official story aren’t pulled from youtube even though they often contain the same material.

            Reading forum threads takes getting used to. You have to be patient and dig in.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Jessica, well said. History shows that a percentage of the populace NEVER will believe that 9/11 was a false flag for the advancement of Absolute Despotism, no matter what evidence is presented unequivocally. How many people appeal to con artists in jail to get fleeced more, refusing to believe that they are pathetic marks? History shows this is common in America, land of the gullible.

      1. ambrit

        Dear LBR;
        The truth be told, humanity down the ages was always generally easily duped. Why else is “No man is a prophet in his own land, etc.” such a widely agreed upon wisdom saying?
        Education is the key, and education of character the cornerstone.

        1. ambrit

          Aaaargh!!! Done it again. The proper quote is:
          “There is no Prophet without honour except in his own country, and among his own relations, and in his own home.”
          Mark 6:4

    1. aet

      Funnily enough, before the Romans – that is, until the autocrat Constantine – decreed the adoption of Christianity as the ‘Official Cult” (to use your phrase ) – the forcing of other “non-observant” or skeptical persons, even other Romans, to in any way observe or accede to their religious practices or beliefs was something the ancient Romans NEVER did.

      Quite the contrary. Tolerance for all religions was in fact the golden key to the maintenance of the Empire, with its 113 very varied and widespread subject provinces. And it was the loss of that Official tolerance which directly led to Rome’s weakness and fall.

      Forcing others to worship as they themselves did was never a “Roman” fault – that fault originated in other traditions of belief, themselves coming from places other than ancient Rome.

      1. Whatever

        All Romans were expected to sacrifice to the imperial genius. This was a token gesture to signify one’s loyalty to the state and was not thought to impinge on the pagan beliefs of the general populace. (It was an essentially political act.) To the monotheistic Christians, however, it was idolatry. Early Christians were persecuted for refusing to participate in an important legitimizing ritual of the Roman civic religion.

        Now scroll up the page and consider which posted article talks about punishing people for refusing to participate in the legitimizing ritual of another powerful empire’s civic religion.

  18. Roland

    Too many people nowadays think that religious intolerance in history is limited to monotheists. Not true!

    The Romans, while they were polytheists and syncretists, were NOT religiously tolerant. They FORCED subject peoples to worship their deified political figures, and ruthlessly persecuted those who did not. The Romans also targeted certain other pagan cults for eradication.

    The myth of Roman religious toleration, like a lot of our historical narrative about Rome, was the creation of early modern European intellectuals, who were often battling with the religious institutions of their own place and time.

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