Links 7/3/12

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Decapitation suspect auditioned for Mystery Road movie on the run Sydney Morning Herald (YY)

California’s Bioterror Mystery failure magazine

Arctic birds still fit when fat BBC

Bankers and the neuroscience of greed Guardian (John L)

Colorado’s table was set for monster fire Washington Post

Caixin Online: Dealing with a double whammy in China MarketWatch

The European economy sinks MacroBusiness

Liborfest! The UK media and blogosphere are all over this! A sampling:

The Barclays LIBOR scandal will be a cracker UK Bubble Economy

The strange silence and an absence of information Paul Mason, BBC. This has a wee bombshell in it.

Following Barclays’ Scandal, Stiglitz says ‘Send Bankers to Jail’ Common Dreams (Aquifer)

Joseph Stiglitz: Man who ran World Bank calls for bankers to face the music Independent (YY says the comments are more entertaining than the article itself)

Bank forecasts futile now all trust has gone, says analyst Telegraph

There’s Something Rotten in Banking Bloomberg. Note this is an editorial.

Regulators On Libor Probe Said To Seek More Time Bloomberg

MPs to question deputy governor of the Bank Independent

Rigged Rates, Rigged Markets New York Times. Today’s editorial.

Bad Bankers May Face Criminal Charges Bloomberg

Q&A: Barclays and bank rates BBC. Some readers have asked for a primer. This should help.

What Hath Roberts Wrought? Common Dreams (Aquifer)

Retailers see Fourth of July spending fizzle USA Today

Manufacturing In U.S. Unexpectedly Contracted In June Bloomberg

GlaxoSmithKline Reaches Plea Agreement Over Drug Labeling Bloomberg. Contrast with: Glaxo pays $3bn for illegally marketing depression drug Independent

The Myth of the Toothless President Jon Walker, Firedoglake

Let’s abolish retirement Robert Skidelsky, Guardian (John L)

Job Insecurity: It’s the Disease of the 21st Century – And It’s Killing Us Alternet. Today’s must read. Hope you see fit to circulate widely.

* * *

Lambert here:

D – 69 and counting*

Did you know America’s first holiday was the Fourth? –Porky Pine

And now for something completely different. I’m going to be taking it a little easier in July, and Campaign Countdown is going to be shorter. But I could use some guidance from you, readers, on what you’d like me to focus on. The same topics in less depth? Fewer topics in equal depth? The same topics, but every other day? A new direction entirely? Then again, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one,” and maybe I go on at too great a length. Please advise by leaving comments at Naked Capitalism, or mail me at 

Also, in the run up for two days of travel starting tomorrow, I didn’t cover Occupy. So to make up for that, I’m going to concentrate on the National Gathering (#NatGat) in Philadelphia, and skip the horse race and the state news. First I’ll collect the random but not totally unfriendly coverage from the mainstream in date order, and then I’ll curate some tweets. I’m guessing “the real story” — as in OccupyWashington — is relationships formed between people, and that’s not possible to cover remotely; we will only be able to see the results later (In depth coverage would also take into account Philly’s deep Quaker heritage; I can’t do that tonight, but it’s something to watch for.)

Just so we’re clear: “Occupy National Gathering in Philadelphia, PA June 30 – July 4th, 2012! Endorsed by GA’s and NOT affiliated with @99Declaration. #NATGAT #j4ophl #ophl” (Here’s #NatGat’s photostream; and the tent monster; and a ridiculous quantity of highly paid and sweltering policemen.

June 29. “The event, which starts Saturday and runs through July 4, is expected to bring about 1,500 protesters [sic] for marches, speakers and camping during the city’s annual Independence Day festivities… during a week that already brings more than 1 million tourists to town.” (Philly’s officials seem as focused on the tourist dollar as Montreal’s, but while the Montreal protests were city wide, #NatGat centers on Independence Hall, a single neighborhood near Washington Square, and that the exact one neighborhood that every single one of those tourists want to visit. Somehow, I don’t think the Philly police are going to be beating up any patrons in bars, unlike the Sûreté. We’ll see!)

June 30: “Last night, occupiers projected a “99%” We The People message onto Independence Hall, the spot where the U.S. Constitution was drafted hundreds of years ago.” Legacy press style guide: “protester.” New media: “occupier.”)

July 1, Chris Hedges: “Stop asking yourself whether it’s practical, it’s never practical. Turn off your television, nothing you do in the eyes of the corporate media is ever going to be a success—you’re always going to be deemed a failure…and listen to the people around you and not the pollution pouring out of the airwaves.” Occupier who walked from Albuquerque: “Everybody in the USA everywhere, you get the sense that something is horribly wrong.” Occupy activist Dustin Slaughter: “We’re trusting people’s best judgment. This is a smart movement and people really don’t want to be violent.” We’ll see! “Reports are sketchy. There is a youtube video that clearly shows police fencing protesters in by holding their bicycles in front of them. Twitter reports using the #NatGat hashtag report that a number of livefeed people have also been arrested.” Streamer: “I had just walked up to the action. And we were streaming it for the live-stream, and they started arresting all the live-streamers, so we really weren’t obstructing anything.” “Occupy Philadelphia member Nate Kleinman says the arrests happened about 9 p.m. Sunday. He says a group of people attending the national conference had been on a spontaneous “solidarity march” to City Hall when they were arrested. He says the march wasn’t part of the conference’s organized events.”

July 2: “Positively, I can report that last night [July 1], after tensions with police had been elevated in a local park, leading to ridiculous and even violent cat-and-mouse games over the course of an hour between the tenters and the police, the palpable tension in the air was slowly dissipated by several dozen Occupiers holding hands, forming a large circle in front of the police, and chanting “Om.” (There is more to be said about the willingness of a larger group of diverse people to chant “Om” together for perhaps fifteen minutes, but I will save that for another post.)”  “Occupy Philadelphia’s National Gathering joined with disgruntled unionized workers from Verizon to protest through Center City streets during rush hour” (picture). Maybe they’re not positively gruntled because Verizon’s CEO makes about $11 thousand an hour.  Bill Perry, “Veterans for Peace”: “[A}ll they want to do is express their right to assemble and their right to express grievances against the big banks and complain about unlimited money in politics and why aren’t we feeding the homeless and basic questions. We find that these Occupy kids are our natural allies.” (Not only kids!)

Networking: “For me, this is a chance to finally meet face-to-face with people who are doing work in other cities and build real relationships,” said Jeff Rae, an Occupy activist who had his Twitter records subpoenaed by the New York District Attorney in March. “In a much broader scope, I hope that at the National Gathering, we can have some real dialogue about what’s next for Occupy. New tactics and strategies.Imagine if, after nine months of the civil rights movement, we didn’t see significant change. Would we have told civil rights leaders to call it quits?” “I hope we get to know each other, so we can continue working together as a stronger movement through movement tools such as interoccupy,” said Tamara Shapiro, a National Gathering organizer. “Occupy has a mix of experienced and brand new activists, and I hope we can use this experience to share skills and knowledge.  I believe we really need to look to the rest of the country to discover the true strength of the movement. The fact that there are activist communities from all over the country: from Wichita, Kansas to Charlotte, North Carolina, to Kalamazoo, Michigan, that didn’t exist a year ago is a sign of strength.””

Water and food: “This morning it was reported by the Occupy National Gathering Twitter feed that the firefighters were going to let the Occupiers have access to their faucets once again. Cottrell and I went to the fire station to confirm this development.  The padlock has indeed been removed from the gate, as you can see in these photos.” (Firefighters are important!) “Dinner is served to 400+ at Franklin Sqr. Networking of ‪#occupy‬ from all across the country ‪#NatGat‬ @OccupyPhilly” Occupy Philly served 1200 meals/day, many to local houseless people, before the city evicted them from Dilworth to build a skating rink.”

And now some tweets. The twitterverse is big, and these are just the tweets that caught my eye. Deb Henry (Occupy Salt Lake City) @heydebhenry:  “Person who sells me coffee at a chain keeps asking questions about Occupy. They’re so excited we keep stopping by ;) #natgat” “Correction, dispute between occupiers not what brought the cops. Quaker elder requested that the drums stop cuz its 1am.” “RT @DSAldridge: It’s not about breaking the law, it’s about getting all the protestors in a database. #natgat #oslc”

@diceytroop (tweeted the minutes live for the OWS GA. Awesome stuff): “@NerkBuckeye @soopermexican I agree, actually. And people need to negotiate more actively than via currency. Politics is hard. Y’all simple.” #NatGat: “UBS blows up mountains,” anti mountaintop removal activists are here. MTR is tragic & MUST end. #Occupy” “Next: “Move towards the injustice!” #NatGat #5WordsOnRace”

@OccupyWallSt: “UPDATE on #NatGat: Police decide arresting Veterans on July 2nd would be a bad look, and move out of the park. Things calming down. #OWS” “I got tired of sitting @ home & screaming @ the TV. I hope 2 make a difference 4 my grandkids” @occupymemphis #natgat” “‘open mic’ session from the milk-crate/soapbox next to the brick wall (near restrooms), in the shade. All are welcome. #natgat #ows” This is location as the tribes understand it: A function of situational awareness — as opposed to GPS which is, when you think about it, a framework for colonization, and not just because your smartphone keeps wanting you to turn on location services…

Oh, and Atrios — one of the great Philly bloggers — really should bestow the coveted Wanker of The Day award on Howard Eskine. It’s only fitting.

* 69 days ’til the Democratic National Convention ends with box lunches for all on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. Well, er….

Antidote du jour:

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  1. fresno dan

    “Rigged Rates, Rigged Markets New York Times”

    “To date, the Justice Department has not distinguished itself in prosecuting major banks (WHAT BANK HAS IT PROSECUTED???)or their executives for conduct leading up to and during the financial crisis. But with Barclays now cooperating, the “Libor scandal” is another chance for government prosecutors to unmask and punish financial wrongdoing.”

    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha….OW!!! I hurt myself laughing – thats a good one, NOW DOJ will investigate the banks. I am reminded of Charlie Brown, Lucy, and a football…

    1. Joeshump

      Spend time around a pig and you’d be surprised how smart and responsive they are. That’s why I always thought Orwell chose ‘Old Major’ and the pigs to lead the revolution in Animal Farm – they are the smartest of all the barnyard critters!!

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        J, pigs are very intelligent, and they suffer the most of all in keen anticipation of the “execution” of their slaughter. So coveted is their flesh by those of unappeasable appetite for MORE bacon and barbecue.

    2. Taylor

      The following is a true story.

      Friends at a pig farm noticed that the lights in the pig pen were always on in the morning, even though they were sure they were turned off at night. Finally someone hid and watched to see what happened when everyone left (and the lights were turned off).

      A pig came along, stood on its hind legs, and turned on the light.

      When I heard this story, I gave up eating pig products.

      BTW I have heard that human flesh, cooked, tastes similar to pork.

      1. citalopram

        Are whole understand of just how smart animals are is turning everything upside down. There’s talk about classifying elephants, dolphins and whales as non-human persons.

        1. LucyLulu

          Pigs are more intelligent than dogs. They are high up on the intelligence scale along with raccoons, though not as smart as chimps and dolphins. I knew a girl who had a pot-bellied pig as a pet, treated it just like a dog, and it acted pretty much like one, too. She would put it on a leash and walk it around the neighborhood of my best friend. The pig ended up several hundred pounds though, as pot-bellied pigs always seem to grow too big (from what I hear, they only stay small if you limit their intake, which nobody does). It liked to destroy her mom’s garden, who she lived with, she couldn’t get it quit rooting, and mom kicked the pig out. Mom should have grown mushrooms or something. Anyways, she had to squeeze him into the back of her car little car when she took him places, which she would do. So she gave the pig to a farmer who promised to keep him as a pet and she visited him periodically.

          One day she took him on a boat with her during “visitation”, it was like a rowboat and went out on a local lake. I swear, this is a true story. He capsized the boat and the pig drowned. She was devastated (and just a tad crazy). I know, the story has a crappy ending, but the pig had a good life compared to most pigs. And it was pretty bizarre to see a huge pig that was clean and treated just like a dog and who was friendly. The ones on farms aren’t friendly. And they’re dirty and smell bad, bearing in mind this is coming from somebody who has spent a fair amount of her life on horse farms, often shared with cattle, goats, and assorted other critters (but not pigs), and never found them either dirty or smelly.

          1. Procopius

            When I was a kid visiting my grandfather’s farm I was scared of the pigs. I noticed that the grown-ups were wary around them. Somewhere along the line I learned that pigs, if they have the opportunity, will eat human flesh. That scared me even more. It’s certainly true that pigs are smart, and also true that, left to themselves, they are not particularly dirty. Curiously, here in Thailand my wife and I visit her former brother-in-law, who is now abbot of a small monastery after his wife’s death. The monastery he runs has a large number of pigs running loose, who seem to basically ignore the people. These are a hairy variety that used to be found wild when Thailand had more jungle. They scare me, too, although no one else seems to mind them.

  2. K Ackermann

    I believe the Common Dreams article is another misreading of Roberts’ vote.

    The hypothetical example they use to demonstrate how nefarious the commerce clause might be is actually somewhat of a fallacy.
    The Court in this session held that the EPA cannot keep a property owner from developing, and hence destroying, a wetland on their property

    How often do you see wetlands for sale to private owner? The state wouldn’t need the commerce clause to retrict a sale of wetlands.

    I’ve not seen a single example where the commerce clause rulling shuts down the only avenue to some legal status.

    There’s no doubt Roberts is a conservative, but almost all the evidence points to him first being a jurist distinctly aware of judicial overreach.

    1. Aquifer

      Yo, K,

      Much of the wetlands destruction in this country occurs on private property – much significant wetland habitat is not owned publicly. The state/fed has the ability to regulate it’s use now, but that power is always under attack. If this ruling undermines the Fed ability to do this – watch out …

    2. jimmy james

      There’s no doubt Roberts is a conservative, but almost all the evidence points to him first being a jurist distinctly aware of judicial overreach.

      Can you square that with the New Yorker coverage of the Citizens United decision? Because the impression given there is that Roberts went headlong, almost gleefully, into what you’d call judicial overreach.

    3. LucyLulu

      There is a case with the EPA that has been making its way through the conservative blogsphere the last year or so regarding exactly this. Somebody bought some land deemed wetlands by EPA (aquifer, all water is underground), they made improvements, and now the EPA wants them to do restoration. Conservatives are up in arms over the case, esp. since EPA made decision without court ruling and is charging daily penalty for non-compliance. They claim this as an example of the excessive/oppressive regulation that the Obama administration is putting in place.

      I looked into the case and the homeowners did not walk into the situation blindly as they make it appear. They had been warned and got an expert to assess their land. He told them it was wetlands. So, they got a second expert, who tell them it was not, and proceeded to make improvements without getting EPA approval. My father was a land developer and this is new and unusual over-reach. He had to get all his zonings and permits in place with various agencies back in the 60’s and 70’s before he could proceed.

      In addition, in my own life, before my divorce 10 years ago, we had part ownership in some land designated as wetlands that couldn’t be developed behind where we lived, that we used for horse pasture. We were only allowed to build a barn on a small plot at one end. It would have been exponentially more valuable if developed (and out of our price range), as it was 20 prime acres surrounded by housing subdivisions 10 minutes from downtown Lexington, KY. It was not underwater either, only had a small creek running through the middle (perfect- labor-free water supply for horses).

  3. K Ackermann

    Lambert, I really enjoy the range of your links. Some of the backwaters you take us to are very cool. I’d never heard of a derecho until yesterday. I found myself scouring for pictures of them.

    I don’t blame you for wanting some free time. You contributions must take some serious labor. What if you did the same thing, but thinned out the links, and cut back stuff likely to be in the MSM?

    1. Flying Kiwi

      To which I would add – don’t bother with any links behind a paywall. If you pay for a subscription to the site you’re probably going to be seeing it anyway but if you don’t subscribe it’s a waste of time clicking on the link.

    2. LucyLulu

      Agreed. There are too many for me to read them all, but some are very interesting and they’re almost always things I wouldn’t normally read. Thank you for all your work, LS, and for broadening some horizons.

  4. financial matters

    An earlier link to Libor manipulation. Nice to see this getting some legs..

    BofA, Citigroup Are Accused By Schwab In Suit Of Manipulating Libor Rates

    By Thom Weidlich – Aug 25, 2011

    “”Charles Schwab Corp. (SCHW), the largest independent brokerage by client assets, sued Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. (C) and other banks claiming they manipulated the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, starting in 2007 in violation of U.S. antitrust law.””

    “”The Schwab suit seeks unspecified damages, which may be tripled under antitrust law. It also includes claims for racketeering and securities fraud.””

  5. fan

    this story is a few weeks old, not covered by American media, but still relevant.

    film/story of the FARC-Colombia war by french journalist, Romeo Langois, embedded with the US-backed Colombian army. He was shot while his unit was overrun by FARC insurgents.

    intense footage. and naturally all the military equipment was paid for by you, the American taxpayer.

  6. jack hepler

    I get a bit concerned for your health– all that time reading, posting, commenting…
    Personally, I never read your state links. Nor do I have much interest in the election proper, and the minutiae thereof. My two cents: stick with cultural stuff, a dose of Occupy, and your freewinging idiosyncrasies

  7. AndyB

    Yves: We need much more exposition on the erosion of our rights and liberties. Recent and continual abrogation of the Bill of Rights is terrifying. Can’t protest anymore, film cops in action; no habeas corpus; etc etc

  8. Eureka Springs

    I appreciate catfood grand bargain watch – bellwethers of what lies ahead… And what Jill Stein is saying – what’s not being said elsewhere.

    Your RoBomney stuff is fun at times, but really… isn’t it something TV and too many other blogs cover relentlessly? (Asking because I no longer watch television, never ever listen to NPR or read ‘those’ blogs with the exception of one in state blog which covers many areas).

    Also good to learn this Occu gathering was not affiliated with @99 declaration. I used to be able to keep up with these things at nycga, but it’s nearly dead now. Even the end corporate personhood group in nycga is about to dissolve…. a good thing, imho., since they were entirely captured by Citizens United and some veal penners… not thinking on their own.

  9. Capo Regime

    Manufacturing unexpectedly contracted in U.S.? How is this unexpected? Seems MSN business types are always caught off guard by unexpected news. I will go on a limb here and say….consumer spending will be lower for the next 6 months, retails sales for holidays will be lower than last year, unemployment will go up and earnings across stocks will be lower than–drum roll–expected. There now they don;t have to be surprised any more…

    1. Eureka Springs

      Three new ‘free trade’ agreements recently passed… and another massive Trans Pacific free trade agreement on the way.

      Why on earth would anyone manufacture anything but ponzi scheming mortgages, derivatives or insurance policies in the USA?

      1. Capo Regime

        Indeed! Sadly we are a nation of salesmen, lawyers, schemers and entertainers. Many overweight and on prozac. In a few years we won;t have the wherewithawl to make a toaster. But we can do PR and Political debates and apps!!!!!

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          “A NATION OF SALESMEN: The Tyranny of the Market and the Subversion of Culture” by Earl Shorris (New York, Avon Books, 1994).

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Capo, you’ll find back-up in the wisdom of Sir James Goldsmith way back in 1994, in a Charlie Rose show that put him head-to-head with a champion shill for GATT, Laura Tyson–who comes off like a gangster’s moll. Of course, we know who the gangster was/is who opened the door wide to the Supranational Corporate Shock Doctrine for .01% DNA Lebensraum.

      Catherine Austin Fitts gives us a timely reminder of this Quarrel between Intelligence and Stupidity on her Solari Report Blog: “Sir James Goldsmith’s 1994 Globalization Warning” — link:

      Maybe at this time of “cosmic dis-equilibrium” we have an opportunity to get it right once and for all?

  10. jsmith

    Regarding the sociopathy of the elite and their chemical predisposition towards destroying things:

    Whenever I see any of the “end of days” movies – e.g., “2012” – that posit that the elite will have safe havens by which they can survive the disaster(s) that wipe out the rest of humanity in order to rebuild civilization and carry on the species, I laugh my @ss off.


    Because if you think a society entirely composed of the greediest, most amoral aholes on the planet will survive more than a week, you’re smoking the good stuff.

    Let’s see, before we close the bunker doors, let’s take a head count shall we?

    Dimon? Here.
    Blankfein? Here.
    Wolfowitz? Here.
    Cheney? Here.
    Obama? Here.
    Clintons? Both accounted for.
    Buffet? Here.
    Gates? Here.

    It would be safe to say that even if the listed hominids survive that the homo sapiens sapiens species would still have been rendered extinct, to have been replaced with:

    Homo sapiens sociopathus.

    Regarding LIBOR:

    It’s amazing that the manipulation of LIBOR wasn’t the FIRST conjecture on the part of cynical observers of neoliberal fascism.

    We KNOW that all of the markets right now are complete fictions what with HFT, PPT etc. so should it really come as a surprise to anyone that insiders would collude – a conspiracy?! shhhhhh – to go after LIBOR?

    Some more on the Paraguayan coup:

    “Other secret cables dating back to 2009 released by WikiLeaks carry titles such as “Paraguayan pols plot parliamentary putsch” and “Lugo impeachment rumors are back.” They indicate that the US embassy was intimately familiar with—and undoubtedly secretly involved in—the conspiracies being hatched by the Paraguayan right.”

    1. Eureka Springs

      Two points of note:

      Remember the Bush family and Rev Moon own hundreds of thousands to over a million acres in Paraguay. Rumored to be on top of the worlds largest fresh water aquifer. Also Bush property adjoins a US base, iirc.

      Also… good to Taibbi tie in his last story (Yves and his interview on Moyers) with the Libor story… it’s all connected, is it not?

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        ES, thanks for the info. It’s all connected. Tell us about Mexico connections.

      2. Bev

        RollingStone ought to do an investigative report on the money trail leading to the purchase of such huge amounts of land in Paraguay by Bush. Just to make sure the money did not come from the missing 2 trillion dollars at the Pentagon announced by Rumsfeld the day before 911.

          1. Procopius

            No serial numbert on electronic ones and zeros. You have to understand what Rumsfeld was talking about. The Defense Department has grown so much since World War II that their accounting system has grown dysfunctional. While I was on active duty I served for a few years in a tiny Army agency located in the basement of the Pentagon. One or our officers was a procurement specialist. I don’t remember which branch he was assigned to except it wasn’t Administration; maybe Ordnance. Anyway, he was a high-energy, hard-working, very very smart guy. One of the smartest officers I saw during my years in the Army. The Army’s procurement system is so complex, so filled with arcane rules, so immersed in contradictory requirements mandated by Congress, that it’s almost implssible to get anything worthwhile done. That’s why we have so many no-bid contracts with people like Halliburton, because Congress isn’t going to examine any contract with them. Otherwise, Solyndra. Anyway, what Rumsfeld was saying was that they get bills that they pay and they don’t know what the contract called for, they don’t know what was delivered, they don’t know if buildings were actually built or not. They don’t know if tanks or aircraft were actually delivered, of if they’ve already been paid for, maybe a couple of times. Sometimes they just don’t know where the money went, they can’t find the funds transfer paperwork. Sometimes they do stuff like shipping pallets of shrink-wrapped currency and it just evaporates, and nobody knows who it was that signed for the delivery, the signature is illegible and nobody admits they were at the airport that day. It’s incredible, and it’s so big, so complicated, so entrenched, that nobody will ever be able to fix it.

  11. nobody

    Lambert – I’m far more interested in the Occupy stuff than the electioneering stuff. I’d like to see more like today.

    1. nobody else

      One guy’s political filter:
      Is it about civil society? No?
      Is it about the international community? No?
      Is it about the US permanent government/deep state? No?
      Then do not read, is crapaganda.

  12. Bill the Psychologist

    The Bloomberg piece on the Libor scandal is pretty much powder puff IMHO.

    They mention prosecution in one paragraph, amid discussion in actual emails of bankers requesting that money rates not go above a certain rate for a few days, because it would ruin their trades ! And then an answering email, confirming it would be done “anything for you” !

    Late in the article there’s this gem of a sentence:

    “The real tragedy of the scandal is the apparent lack of ethics or self-restraint among the people involved.”

    I’d put it differently in this case: the real tragedy is that all these people are sociopathic criminals, who were hired and paid to carry out these criminal activities.

    But that’s just me………….

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      But we cannot expect Bloomber “treason against my class” can we? He might not be welcome back into the deep throat of the Ile de France.

  13. MontanaMaven

    Important Michael D. Yates (Monthly Review editor, author, and professor) “Counterpunch” piece on the big blowup amongst left writers and lilberal poli sci professors.

    At the end of the piece, Yates points to several people who have actual ideas for how to organize outside the legacy parties. I plan on reading them all and reporting.

    I feel quite alone except for here and I went to a party of Democrats on Sunday and was quite isolated in my new left libertarian “I’m not a Democrat” clothes. “But you have to vote for Tester, Obama, etc. etc. It’s black and White”. “But politics is the art of compromise”.

    “Art? Art?”, I almost yelled, but instead said quietly, “There is no dignity in being a Democrat. Compromise is mostly capitulation. And politics is not an art or a science (Political science? ha ha ha). It’s a racket.”

    So now I have no tribe. I am out here “Running with Cows”. ( I will be posting on my site and correntewire my video of my actually running with cows since I have no friends anymore.”

    1. Aquifer

      Good article ….

      I would add another significant problem i see – the competition among unions for members which prevents solidarity when one unions members are getting screwed – if that screwing might result in an increase in membership for another union. I have seen that dynamic play out – really pisses me off ….

      Again – that same “team” dynamic that applies in politics – fundamental principles get tossed under the bus so that one’s “team” wins. Pyrrhic victories abound ….

      When elephants fight, the grass gets trampled ….

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    How does anyone become toothless?

    Is it due to one’s failure to brush and floss out those plaques (and awards) from one’s friendly banker friends?

  15. Aquifer

    The article on job insecurity – rather illustrates, IMO, the fundamental lie at the base of our predicament. The one that says competition, not cooperation, is the basis of prosperity. The essence of competition is insecurity – one can never “rest”, one must always strive harder and harder, more and more, because the “competition” is always there, always ready to knock you off.

    This idea was accepted as necessary for “progress” by many of us – even considered “healthy”. So when we were told not only that”job security is a thing of the past” but that that was a a good reason to get rid of unions – they encouraged laziness by contracting for “security” – we bought it. As long as the “competition” was across the world or in the next town or even next door, it was “necessary and proper to salvation” to compete. But now that it has reached the inevitable phase of being in the next cubicle – and requires drugs to deal with it …..

    In that vein (literally) it is obvious that the drug companies marketing to adolescents was inevitable – they have saturated the adult market ….

    We will not break this whole Gordian knot until we cut through the “rugged individual competition uber alles” BS we have bought for too long – that system is finally demonstrating to more and more what many have been warning of for a long time. I would suggest that that is what lies at whatever success OWS may have – that fundamental understanding. And the common denominator of the institutions that are plaguing us is “all is fair in competition”. “The competition is killing us” is no longer just a metaphor ….

    It is not enough, IMO, just to make competition “fair” – we must deeply examine and dissect the concept that “competition” is always and everywhere indispensable and then we must – dispense with those institutions that run our lives based on it. Start there and all sorts of amazing things become not only conceivable, but possible ….

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      This is certain: In the age of “peak resources,” cooperation is the key to survival as human beings becoming, rather than as beasts red in tooth and claw.

    2. colinc

      Very nice, grasshopper! However, to discover the true depth and breadth of “our” programming and the sham most people refer to as “living,” one must “look more closelier” and re-examine more than a few premises.

      one can never “rest”, one must always strive harder and harder, more and more, because the “competition” is always there, always ready to knock you off.

      Thus, the masses are too distracted to even notice that someone is, in fact, behind the curtain. It will never occur to ask “What the hell is going on behind that drapery?”

      This idea was accepted as necessary for “progress” by many of us – even considered “healthy”.

      Nipping near the crux… indoctrination from birth, if not earlier, assures assimilation absolutely, or nearly so. What poses as “education,” at least in the USA, is every bit as dogmatic and hypocritical as every religion that has ever existed. It exists primarily as a mechanism to instill obedience to authority and obfuscate “reality.”
      Krishnamurti – It is no indication of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

      We will not break this whole Gordian knot until we cut through the “rugged individual competition uber alles” BS we have bought for too long

      An utter and complete paradigm shift of entire cultures/societies is, indeed, required! Yet, just how does one abjure against a lifetime onslaught of Pavlovian programming, let alone convince another to do so? The sorting-out is in the wings and there will be death and destruction of hitherto unknown proportions, the orchestra has started its crescendo. Shhh!! The show is starting. A repeat performance will not even be possible for at least a thousand years.

  16. James

    The pig video was cute, but I hate to say this (no offense to pigs), it reminded me of nothing so much as some of my friends and their kids or their kids’ kids. Little porkers wandering the house conditioned to respond to food treats.

  17. Walter Wit Man


    I have my differences with your POV but I like the breadth and style of your links.

    Of course, my preference is to use local links or the original blog coverage rather than the MSM or big blog links, but you are already better than most bloggers at this.

    It’s impossible to discuss all the links in depth every day, so your write-ups may not always get noticed, but it’s nice to have the option.

    1. LucyLulu

      The local links ARE great when they have interesting and relevant stories, but unless Lambert has people sending him links, IME, it’s very time consuming to comb through them all. Periodically I go through the local papers around me looking for pieces and it usually involves a lot of time coming up empty handed. Searching the MSM seems to be much more fruitful, one doesn’t have to wade through articles of ONLY local interest (if that), e.g. announcements of local h.s. band winning competition, disputes about siting of new landfill, etc.

      Moral of story: To all those who like Lambert’s links, we need to help him out by sending him suggested links.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        “very time consuming to comb through them all.” Imagine how much time it took to aggregate them cohesively and post them!

        Lambert, you baaaaaaaad!

  18. Garrett Pace

    Interesting book review about the modern state of living alone:

    A culture of individualism carries a lot of good things with it, but it seems rather absent of any idea of community or the future.

    It reminds me of this interview with Wendell Berry:

    “Adding to knowledge is not the first necessity. The first necessity is to teach the young. If we teach the young what we already know, we would do outlandishly better than we’re doing. Knowledge is overrated, you know. There have been cultures that did far better than we do, knowing far less than we know. We need to see that knowledge is overrated, but also that knowledge is not at all the same thing as “information.” There’s a world of difference–Wes Jackson helped me to see this–between that information to which we now presumably have access by way of computers, libraries, and the rest of it, great stockpiles of data, and that knowledge that people have in their bones by which they do good work and live good lives. The knowledge that a good farmer has, for instance, is a far different thing from the knowledge that most university experts have. For one thing, a farmer’s knowledge is usable knowledge; a lot of it comes from experience, and a lot is inherited. The knowledge of most university experts is self-centered–committed to their own advancement in their careers and therefore, indifferent to the effects of the work they’re doing or going to do. And they’re usually not committed to any community.”

    1. Garrett Pace

      This quote from Berry encapsulates a lot of the issue of individuals vs. communities, across time:

      “What I’m going to do here,” says Berry, stopping to show me the view down into a fine stand of medium-age trees, “is grow an old-growth forest. It will take about two hundred years, and I won’t live to see it, but there will be some nice trees here, if somebody doesn’t cut them down.”

      Community is exactly the same way, only unlike trees, more than benign neglect is needed to keep them healthy, across many generations.

      Really, when I think about it, the fact that humans have any longstanding cultural attainments at all is remarkable…

      1. James

        Really, when I think about it, the fact that humans have any longstanding cultural attainments at all is remarkable…

        Maybe that will be western capitalism’s one true legacy and positive attribute: after it’s gone the cultural impact will fade quickly and not leave too big of an imprint on future civilizations. We can only hope, although I’ve got my doubts. In time, ours will be universally viewed as the age of madness.

        1. Garrett Pace

          Madness is a culture of “individualism” where nonetheless education is merely for filling a corporate role, the only choices are between brand names, and life is the passive consumption of goods and services.

  19. ohmyheck

    Police Raid Sarkozy’s Residence,0,1363617.story

    It seems his immunity from prosecution expired on June 16. Must have missed the “escape to Paraguay” memo.

    Why only Sarkozy? Why not Bush, Cheney, Blair, Putin? How come Sarkozy didn’t quietly “leave town”? Was he surprised? Did no one gave him a heads-up? Is this Kabuki?

      1. F. Beard

        Thorium reactors would allow carbon-neutral synthesis of hydrocarbons by pulling carbon from the air.

        But at the very least, it is silly to burn carbon in electrical power plants just as it would be silly to have nuclear powered cars.

        Hey, but humans are silly. The only question is how long we can continue.

      1. Valissa

        More French political drama…

        Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Anne Sinclair Separation Rumors Swirl

        My favorite title of the various DSK-Sinclair separation articles was from The Daily Mail… “DSK’s long-suffering wife Anne Sinclair finally leaves him as former IMF boss is kicked out of their Paris home”… but the above article is the most thorough.

  20. tout a fait

    what was the “wee bombshell” in the “strange silence” BBC article?

  21. readerOfTeaLeaves

    I must have died and gone to heaven, given the financial and political news today. Apparently, Bob Diamond is stepping down from co-hosting a Romney fundraiser in London. Ahem.

    Also, the Christian Science Monitor has an interesting article on the role of the gridlocked, petulant US Congress (particularly the Tea Party members who engaged in ‘chicken’ last August with the federal purse) are greatly responsible for economic sluggishness, as businesses are impacted by the confusing signals and failure to address real problems.

    Finally, Nicholas Shaxson has an article on Romney and his tax heavenly at Vanity Fair:

    Wow… the world must have flipped its axis ;-)

  22. Hugh

    That article by George Lakoff on the Roberts decision is a mess. The Commerce Clause argument in the healthcare decision was going down no matter what. If the “moderates” had not approved the overall opinion containing its rejection, Roberts would have gone with the conservatives and the Commerce Clause argument in this case would still have been tossed out.

    Lakoff then warns that conservatives will exploit anti-tax sentiment and the penalty as tax argument to make war against all government fees and penalties depicting them as taxes. But it wasn’t the Court’s conservatives but its “moderates” who approved this argument.

    Lakoff next raises the specter that the Court’s rejection of the Commerce Clause in this case will impact negatively environmental law:

    “Many important laws, especially in the area of environmental protection, use the interstate commerce clause. The Court in this session held that the EPA cannot keep a property owner from developing, and hence destroying, a wetland on their property.”

    The problem with this is that there was only one wetlands case I know of in this session and that was Sackett v. EPA. The Commerce Clause played no role in it. The Court held, without going into the merits, that the Sacketts could challenge an EPA compliance order in court under the Administrative Procedure Act. It did not say the Sacketts could destroy a wetland located on their 2/3 of an acre lot. It merely said they could contest the EPA’s application of the Clean Water Act to their property in court. There is no mention of the Commerce Clause anywhere in the opinion.

    And finally Lakoff finishes off with his endorsement of the dreadful con known as the Affordable Care Act:

    “We are as happy as other Democrats that the Affordable Care Act has mostly been declared constitutional”

    This all looks like standard operating procedure to me. Blame the mean old Republicans for the bad stuff and praise the Democrats who colluded with them to make it happen. In other words, this article is more tribalism masquerading as analysis.

    1. LucyLulu

      Using taxes to implement policy is nothing new, only perhaps viewing it that way. For decades we have given homeowners exemptions to encourage a policy of homeownership, encouraged capital investment by taxing it at a lower rate, tax deferrals to increase investment in private pensions, and used tax credits to encourage parents to pay for their kids to get college educations. These same policies could be viewed from the flip side, as tax penalties, for those who choose non-compliance will pay more taxes than those who participate.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Hugh, either Lakoff is tired, or these pieces are command performances. His heart is not in writing mass market soundbites. Why don’t we read his books already? How tedious this “assignment” must be to him.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      jsmith, do you recall the look on Arafat’s face in pix before he died. I couldn’t interpret the look then, but I can now: the look of the victim of inconceivable betrayal: “SHOCK” for real.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        It was the look of a man gone mad, knewing what had been done to him and by whom: the look in flesh of classic “The Scream.” His brain was screaming with his by then FULL comprehension of the meaning of “murderous treachery beyond imagining in real life” – the meaning of Ergun in Evolution.

  23. Cap'n Magic

    Here’s the real kicker-multinationals who have letters of credit with the SIFI’s have been victimized too by the LIBOR scnadal-yet nary a peep from their leadership over this rent-seeking.

    Makes ya wonder, doesn’t it?

  24. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Manufacturing contracting.

    European Economy sinks.

    China double whammed.

    It sounds like it’s time for the global 0.01% to retreat back into their southern redoubt, otherwise known as the stock/ commodity market, to be defended with that miracle weapon of zero percent interest against those menacing penny saving seniors.

    1. James

      Haven’t you heard? Synthetics are all the rage these days. Bigger bang for the buck and little or no dirty manufacturing overhead. When you really, really, REALLY wanna get rich for doing absolutely nothing at all. Although I gotta admit, them boys do look might pretty in their downtown suits and all.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        James, there just waiting for the Social Security loot, “derivativized.”

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Wait. Wood pulp from “treated” wood? This may be cooooool genocide.

  25. Foppe

    In unrelated news:

    I know that I should probably not be doing this but I am too excited not to: I have it on very good authority from a prominent experimental physicist in the middle of the action that CERN will indeed be announcing the discovery of the Higgs Boson tomorrow in Geneva. Here is how my “Deep Throat” contact puts it:

    It’s 5 sigma more or less, and I am sure there will be some debate about the semantics of calling it a “discovery” or not but more or less it is a discovery…it’s there! Probably the most boring and exciting moment in physics…

  26. Cap'n Magic

    Now that the LIBOR scandal has blown sky-high, wonder what good ol’ Niall Ferguson say in his upcoming third BBC Reith lecture?

  27. Martskers

    I’m wondering how the LIBOR scandal affects the people with debt instruments tied to that factor ($500 trillion, according to reports). From what I’ve heard, the LIBOR was being manipulated DOWN, for the benefit of foreign traders, which means that for someone with an adjustable mortgage, car note or credit card debt, when the adjustment happened, their payment should also have gone down.

    What am I missing, and if this scheme somehow screwed all the LIBOR-tied consumers, what’s their recourse?

  28. barrisj

    Bankers going down? Bankers even indicted? Bankers even criminally investigated? Not a chance, as history has shown that the Criminal Elite and their political enablers all circle the wagon when shite hits the fan. Case in point: Charles Keating was the only major private figure to do hard-time as a consequence of his actions during the 80s S&L scandal(s). What about the “Keating Five”, you may well ask.
    Not a bit of it, as what would be the institutional implications if five Senators got hauled up before grand juries and indicted for their role in the Keating machinations? Obvious, innit, so the plutocracy decided that only Keating had to fall, as the Senators were “deceived and manipulated” by Keating whilst merely trying to put things right for S&L investors and customers. Fast-forward to 2007-2009…so, who has gone down for egregious criminal conduct…who has suffered public scourging and obloquy for actions both illegal and immoral? Well, there was “Fabulous Fab”, a lowly Goldman trader just doing his job – anyone else? Kerry Killinger? Ken Lewis? Dick Fuld? All the rest of the sleazy, rebarbative clan of thieves? No, of course not. What the Feds did instead was to select one or two “Charles Keating”s of this era who would symbolise “unfettered greed” and “financial corruption”. But wait, surely not from the ranks of the Establishment Elite? Horrors, please, No! Rather they went after a couple of Non-U wogs, Raj Rajaratnam – 11 years in the slammer, dude!! – and, latterly Rajat Gupta, indicted and to be brought to trial, for…wait for it…INSIDER TRADING, for fuck’s sake!! A few million of ill-gotten gains!! Do we see any white faces here…anybody with a Greenwich, or Upper Eastside, or Hamptons address? Anybody with an Ivy League pedigree? Any bankers or Wall Street heavyweights, who caused directly or indirectly hundreds of billions of dollars to go South? Sheeeeet, no, just a couple of dark-skinned outsiders, held up as the avatars of what ails the financial system, and subjected to righteous, “God’s work”, punishment. And to imagine that in the UK, that one of “The City’s” finest, “Bob” Diamond, would even be subjected to…gasp, criminal prosecution, beggars the mind. The financial elite discovered long ago that the game is: Heads, I win, Tails, you lose, and that the politicians and media would insure that a rigged game would continue indefinitely. And, here we are, scandal after scandal erupting, with who knows how many more are about to bubble to the surface?
    Well, there is nothing like a war to “rally” everyone – thieves and the innocent alike – together, forget past indiscretions and join arms marching against the Islamic hordes…witness all the stories suddenly appearing about “increased US naval presence in the Gulf”, or, “Iran threatens to block Hormuz Straits”, or “oil spikes due to Gulf crisis”, yadda-yadda-yadda. Something will break, and it’s NOT going to be bankers doing the perp walk, count on it.

  29. JTFaraday

    ““Occupy Philadelphia’s National Gathering joined with disgruntled unionized workers from Verizon to protest through Center City streets during rush hour” (picture). Maybe they’re not positively gruntled because Verizon’s CEO makes about $11 thousand an hour.”

    Insanity! Also, about this:

    “Job Insecurity: It’s the Disease of the 21st Century – And It’s Killing Us Alternet. Today’s must read. Hope you see fit to circulate widely.”

    This is not today’s “must read” this was “must read!” in 2002, (if not 1992). What sort of “Alternet” is just getting around to it now?

  30. LucyLulu

    From article about GSK settlement about Wellbutrin:

    Some sales representatives referred to the drug as “the happy, horny, skinny pill,” according to the fact sheet.

    Well, they were getting less dishonest. I’ll never forget they used the exact same phrase to describe prozac (as a means of ‘locker-room jokingly’ promoting to women especially, always felt it was sexist, male psychiatrist’s version of dream-come-true partner) when it first came on the market, the first of the ‘new class of antidepressants’. While wellbutrin seems to be neutral when it comes to weight and libido, prozac causes more people to gain weight than lose weight, and the most common complaint I used to hear, especially from women, was loss of sexual drive/sexual dysfunction.

    Prozac did cause weight loss in the occasional person. Invariably it was the teenagers who were thin to start with and the weight loss was an undesirable side effect, often prompting a need to discontinue the medication.

    1. Jack Parsons

      Ho! I have the ‘orgasms are longer and more intense’ side effect. It is teh bitchin’

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      L, Prozac yields pick-up line: I’m on Prozac. Wanna f%$k? D-head delight cubed.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Prozac yields UN-RESPONSIVE “BioDildoMan . What woman wants this in bed?

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Sorry, DO-OVER; not “Prozac” but “Viagra” — but it’s all D-head PharmaPhoque.

  31. LucyLulu

    Back to SCOTUS on ACA again, WOW!

    The following was the answer from the National Review senior editor, Presidential Politics panelist at Princeton Class Reunion, to a question on how Supreme Court would rule on Health Care, ONE MONTH LATER:

    “My own sort of educated guess, based on people I talk to at the Supreme Court, is that — Well, as I’m sure people know, there’s an initial vote the same week, on the Friday of the oral arguments. And my understanding is that there was a 5-4 vote to strike down the mandate and maybe some related provisions but not the entire act. Since then, interestingly, there seem to have been some second thoughts. Not on the part of Justice Kennedy, but on the part of Chief Justice Roberts, who seems to be going a little bit wobbly. So right now, I would say, [the outcome of the case] is a little bit up in the air….

    People he talks to at the SC? He understands there was a 5-4 initial vote? Someone (else) in media casually refers to insider knowledge of current SCOTUS cases as if he’s talking about how they like their coffee.

    1. lambert strether

      That is a brilliant catch. And so the story, isn’t it, is who Roberts was talking to. And what they said. Not that he flipped. The last seemingly unmotivated flip of this magnitude that I recall came when Obama took Kucinich for a ride in Air Force One. Kucinich came in a single payer advocate who’d never switch, and came out an ACA who went on the floor next day and whipped for the bill. My theory was that Obama left the Unity Pony’s head in Kucinich’s bed, but what do I know?

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      LL, great! not only “coffee” but “how they like their bread buttered.”

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Do you think it’s SOP for SCOTUS to do market research first at The National Review?

  32. Bev

    Also Lambert: And, since everything ties in together as is being said:

    Schneiderman probes Chamber’s money-laundering for (stealing the) 2004 election

    NY Attorney General Probing U.S. Chamber of Commerce For Allegedly Laundering AIG Money For Lobbying, Political Commercials

    New York state will investigate the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for unfair corporate influence in elections.
    Posted at 6:12 pm by Mehrad Yazdi



    The scandal here is NOT about Karl Rove’s gay lover but (as usual) election fraud

    TUESDAY, JULY 3, 2012

    Connecting the Dots Between Karl Rove and His Alleged Bisexual Lover

    The GOP operative who is alleged to be Karl Rove’s bisexual lover states in a video that he has, in fact, worked with Rove. We also have learned that Ali A. Akbar has ties to possible election fraud in Texas, where Rove built his political base.

    Election fraud in Texas? Gosh, no wonder it appears these two get along famously.

    These latest details come from top-notch research at The Liberal Grouch blog. The Grouch, whose real name is Bill Schmalfeldt, has been closely following the story since Alabama lawyer Dana Jill Simpson released a letter last week that she had written to Robert Bauer, chief counsel for the Barack Obama re-election. The letter was a reaction to Rove’s recent bizarre rant on Fox News, in which he made a number of clearly false allegations about Bauer and Simpson, who is best known for her role as a whistleblower in the political prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.

    Read more.

    Just breaking . . .

    The McCain campaign at the highest levels has had an emergency conference call on the matter.

    The articles goes on to say:

    Statement from one of the two witnesses Joey Dauben of South Dallas: I sat in on a meeting in my downtown Dallas office and heard an ecampaign staffer with the John McCain campaign – Ali A. Akbar – openly discuss ways to manipulate, rig and otherwise “take” an election

    Schmalfeldt traced Akbar to Ellis County, Texas, where he worked for a news Web site called the Ellis County Observer. Akbar’s work apparently involved covering up the misdeeds of a former police chief named Michael Meissner, who was charged with posing as a woman and soliciting photos of underaged boys. That sounds Sanduskyesque.


  33. Bev

    Lastly Lambert: Your writers on monetary MMT policy are not nearly as clear as Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Stephen Zarlenga:

    Please send someone to the following conference and report on the ways we can have Debt-Free and Interest-Free government money rather than bankers’ Debt Money which means we can never get out of debt or have the money to solve big problems:


    And, so that we can have money to help ourselves by fixing great dangers to us:

    Senator: Fukushima Fuel Pool Is a National Security Issue for AMERICA

    Posted on May 6, 2012 by WashingtonsBlog

    Fukushima Fuel Pools Are an American National Security Issue

    After visiting Fukushima, Senator Ron Wyden warned that the situation was worse than reported … and urged Japan to accept international help to stabilize dangerous spent fuel pools.

    An international coalition of nuclear scientists and non-profit groups are calling on the U.N. to coordinate a multi-national effort to stabilize the fuel pools. And see this.

    Fuel pool number 4 is, indeed, the top short-term threat facing humanity.

    Anti-nuclear physician Dr. Helen Caldicott says that if fuel pool 4 collapses, she will evacuate her family from Boston and move them to the Southern Hemisphere. This is an especially dramatic statement given that the West Coast is much more directly in the path of Fukushima radiation than the East Coast.


    Boils Down to Money

    Of course, it all boils down to money … just like every other crisis the world faces today.


    And, Naked Capitalism also Boils Down to Money….

    We need Debt-Free Money to fix Fukushima. We need honest elections to enable change to help us save ourselves. We need great reporting to solve the past problems which can help us solve current problems, and restore trust. We need a very big coalition who want to help solve problems for themselves and so ensure their survival and that of many others.


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