Links 8/13/12

Drought-stricken woman rancher has to ‘sell cows or watch them starve’ BBC

Renamed Trapwire Spying System – NYPD-Microsoft Domain Spying System Cryptome (Lambert)

Four high-level Facebook officials resign in the past week ComputerWorld

Nuclear power plants: A hidden world of untruths, unethical behavior Asahi Shimbun

China’s July lending adds to the gloom MacroBusiness

Lenders hold fire on ailing shipping firms South China Morning Post

Flares thrown into makeshift mosque near Piraeus ekathimerini (Lambert)

IMF Says Bailouts Iceland-Style Hold Lessons For Crisis Nations Bloomberg. This would normally be a good thing (IMF acknowledging Iceland) except it is probably doing so for a specific reason: because it wants bondholder cramdowns for Spanish banks. The wee problems with that is many Spanish depositors were pushed to buy preference shares, which they were told were as safe as deposits. There will be social revolt if these savers are wiped out. I don’t have a solution, but failing to cushion the blow will be explosive.

Bonfire of the Vanities: Robert Parry and the Red Mist of Partisanship Chris Floyd (Aquifer)

FUSSBUDGET: How Paul Ryan captured the G.O.P New Yorker (Lee S)

‘I’m sick to my stomach’: anger grows in Illinois at Bain’s latest outsourcing plan Guardian

The Right’s brittle heroes Glenn Greenwald

Ed Kilgore Faces Facts about Welfare Reform Robert, Angry Bear

Whatever’s Left of the Left masaccio, Firedoglake (Carol B)

Animation Teacher Faces Termination For Refusing To Sell His Students Unnecessary Books CartonBrew

Banking industry must rebuild from new foundations HeraldScotland (Aquifer)

Retail investors have had their confidence battered Financial Times

ConsumerWatch: Heirlooms Disappear From BofA Safety Deposit Box CBS 5

Lisa Epstein Challenging Incumbent for Palm Beach County Clerk of Courts, Election on Tuesday Dave Dayen, Firedoglake

How Andrew Jackson Killed the Second Bank of the United States Jesse

* * *

lambert here:

D – 27 and counting*

Don’t you know that in the Navy you must always choose the lesser of two weevils? Oh ha, ha, ha, ha!” –Patrick O’Brian, Master and Commander

Meet the Press as told to the Bobblespeak Translations: “GREGORY: OMG Paul Ryan is now theintellectual leader of the Republican Party AUDIENCE: high praise indeed

Montreal. Social strike: “[T]he ‘simple’ way to strike is by collectively not doing what you’re supposed to — business as usual — but throwing a wrench into the everyday of all of what we do, work, school, leisure, street life, urban space, and anything and everything else. [P]eople seem to concur that it isn’t just about disruption, though that’s essential, but what you do during that time of disruption to create something different.” … Silent majority: “Back to [TVA reporter] Lapierre’s question: ‘What would you have done, if you were in Jean Charest’s position?’. With no hesitation, you replied that you would have called in the army to put a stop to all that. I was stunned. My question is, where were you in October 1970? If you were in Québec and you understood what it meant to have the army patrolling the streets of Montréal for weeks, how can you wish for this again?”

Occupy. NZ: “Among the first countries to see each new day, Occupy New Zealand kicked off #A9 Chalkupy: Chalkupy The World, on Thursday, with members of the public chalking public and private space throughout the country” (with slideshow). … MN, Occupy Homes: “Woodlands National Bank President Ken Villebro has agreed to meet with Anita Reyes-LeRey at her home in Minneapolis [to discuss a financing offer.” Also involved: AIM.

FL. Letter to the editor, Palm Beach Post: “[Lisa Epstein] should have received The Post’s endorsement. Judges are still receiving documents signed by robo-signer Linda Green, resulting in wasted court time. Lisa would institute procedures to tag these and other faulty documents quickly. Most important, however, is the contribution she’ll make as supervisor of the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems. In four other states, the county clerks/registrars of deeds have already gotten together to make certain that MERS pays its fees to the county each time a securitized loan is sold. Why not in FL?”

MN. Fracking: “About a dozen silica mining sites in MN have either been formally proposed or informally inquired about since early 2011, but none have been built. There has been a proliferation of moratoriums by counties, townships and cities as they study concerns raised by vocal, organized citizen groups opposed to the industry.”

NV. Privatization: “Contrary to popular belief, the National Forest Service doesn’t own air tankers; it contracts with private firms for the operation and maintenance of our aging air tanker fleet. [T]he hold up at the moment is a conflict involving private firms which were not awarded the contracts.”

NY. Fracking: “More than 150 protesters of all ages blockaded the Schlumberger Limited industrial facility in Horseheads, NY for nearly six hours today stopping operations that provide services and materials, including chemicals and silica sand, to oil and natural gas exploration companies, including hydraulic fracturing.”‘ … Food: “The warm Spring and April frost this year has put a damper on fruit production across New York State. According to the USDA, [fruit] production statewide is forecast at a record low.”

PA. Extractive economy: “Sunoco is moving forward with a plan to transport by-products of Marcellus Shale natural gas to Southeastern Pennsylvania by pipeline, potentially fueling new industrial development in beleaguered Marcus Hook.”

TX. Health: “[R]eproductive health providers tell stories of women going to pharmacies across the border in Mexico, in search of a drug they hope will terminate unwanted pregnancies. But the providers say that the pharmacies, which are largely unregulated, often fail to give proper instructions for the drug, misoprostol.”

VA. Karma: “March 3, 2012 was the day that Bob McDonnell threw away his opportunity to appear on the 2012 Republican ticket as the GOP candidate for Vice President. That was the day that McDonnell–or one of his minions–made the decision to call out paramilitary police forces to crush a peaceful protest [against McDonnell’s vaginal probe bill] on the steps of Virginia’s capital.” … Extractive economy: “Hundreds of people were on hand [in Whitesville] for the unveiling of a granite memorial to 29 miners who died April 5, 2010 , in a massive explosion at [Massey’s] Upper Big Branch mine. The tragedy has not led to any significant new federal legislation to stop a serial safety violator such as Massey from cutting corners and causing the deaths of more workers.”

VT. Solid waste: “What appeared at the start to be a local problem [of chemical contamination of Green Mountain Compost], perhaps of misuse of persistent weedkillers, now appears to include all composting operations in the state, the horse farms that supply some composters with manure and companies that supply horse feed, according to Agency of Agriculture officials.”

WI. Ryan pick: “According to state election law, Ryan would not have to sacrifice his spot on the congressional ballot even though he is also running for vice president. He would appear on the ballot twice.” … Conservative fever swamp: “[T]he anti-Agenda 21 movement, with close ties to the Tea Party, is gaining political traction nationally and in Wisconsin. The R Party of WI and some candidates for office here oppose Agenda 21, although battles against programs like Green Tier [a sustainability program] appear to be led by citizen activists.”

Outside Baseball. Privatization, Diane Ravitch: “A reader this morning said I should make a clear distinction between what the Rs and the Ds say/do about education. I wish I could. Race to the Top is no different from No Child Left Behind, other than the timetable.”

The trail. Medicare: “But the GOP today is increasingly dependent on the votes of older and blue-collar whites who — while eager to scale back government programs that transfer income to the poor — are much more resistant to retrenching entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security that largely benefit the middle-class.” …. Medicare: “But while Pelosi and Democratic congressional candidate Lois Frankel were clear in their criticism of the Ryan plan, the long-term alternatives they put forward to extend Medicare’s solvency were a murky collection of pending studies, future demonstration projects and hopes for medical breakthroughs.” Debt-lock … Medicare: “[RYAN: ] My mom is a Medicare senior in Florida. [W]e think these reforms are good reforms. That have bipartisan origins. They started from the Clinton commission in the late ’90s.” RomneyCare equals ObamaCare all over again? …. Ballot access: “The D party and many of its close allies spent millions of dollars to remove Nader from ballots in 18 states in 2004, but didn’t follow federal campaign laws when it made these expenditures.” … Voting: “In an exhaustive public records search, News21 reporters sent thousands of requests to elections officers in all 50 states. Analysis of the resulting comprehensive News21 election fraud database turned up 10 cases of voter impersonation.” … Supervoters: “‘[S]upervoters] vote in every election — always. The search for supervoter support is bipartisan. Rather than waste time and money on the vast majority of people who won’t vote, campaigns instead target the supervoters, an estimated one out of 10 Ds or Rs in Broward and Palm Beach counties.”

Robama vs. Obomney. Ryan: “I hear some people say that this is ‘the new normal,’ ” Ryan said in Norfolk, VA, with the battleship USS Wisconsin as a backdrop. ‘High unemployment, declining incomes and crushing debt is not a new normal. It’s the result of misguided policies.'” True!

Romney. NC: ““I am so happy! I am so happy to have my teammate now,’ Romney told cheering supporters in Mooresville, N.C., on Sunday at the first of two North Carolina rallies where thousands spilled into the streets outside, eager to see the GOP ticket.” Ryan not universally panned, then. … WI: “‘Hi, Mom,’ Ryan said, his voice crackling, as he took the stage and looked out over a sprawling crowd. Romney relished in the showing too, saying it proves he made the right pick. He said tears filled his own eyes watching Ryan soak it in.” Wowsers.

Ryan pick: “If there’s one thing Republicans and Democrats can agree on, it’s that presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate will help create a clear contrast for voters in November.” … Ezra Klein: “Ryan makes it a choice between two competing plans for deficit reduction.” … Izvestia: “If he makes the issue the national debt that has risen so much under Obama, rather than his solution for it, Mr. Ryan could pose a serious challenge to the president.” … FT: “Romney’s bold choice for the vice-presidential slot will focus the campaign on the issues that US voters need to debate.” … David Walker: “It will virtually guarantee that the issues of the role of the government and fiscal responsibility will be a top priority in the general election.” … Rupert Murdoch: “Now we can choose between Greek and US dream.” …”Rick Paul, said one diner, was a brilliant vice presidential choice. Mike Ryan, said another, would surely boost Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and help ‘save the country.'” …”Romney just added more iciness to a campaign already low on warmth and humanity.” …”It’s not the move he would have made if the campaign was going the way he hoped it would.” … Resources: 290-page American Bridge PAC research report on Ryan (from July 19). Maplight on Ryan funding.

Obama. The voters: “[Michelle Obama:] ‘But you can play an important role in this election, too. I want you all to feel empowered.‘ … Tickets to the event started at $2,500 per family.” Alrighty then. … Hagiography: “The event of him is still remarkable.” I think the normally asute Charles Pierce means “advent,” not “event.” Just saying.

* 27 days until the Democratic National Convention ends with a random sampling of Twinkies for everybody on the floor of the Bank of America Panther Stadium, Charlotte, NC. FL has 27 electoral votes.

* * *

Antidote du jour:

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  1. JGordon

    In regards to the textbook story–when I started college I rigorously bought every text-book on my course to-buy list. And by the time I finished I bought almost none.

    Anyway, these days college is a scam, especially if you have to go into debt for it. If you go to college and get student loan debt, you deserve the life of misery you’re signing up for. Don’t be a idiot. Just don’t go. Or if you do, at least be ready to flee by getting a degree in ESOL with a teaching certificate.

    1. miguelito

      The unnecessary book article sounds exactly what happened to a relative that wanted to go back to school for a degree. One wtf story was he had to not only purchase the textbook but in order to get credit for homework he had to go online and pay an additional $100 for access to the homework questions and answers – is the justification that it is an online math class?

      On top of that when he realized he had to take Spanish and other useless classes such as intro to computers where they talked about phising and password security he dropped the whole degree idea.

      Additionally, he was telling me that for this particular teacher/class that the teacher was paid per student. The policy was if a student dropped the class the teacher’s pay was reduced (dropped at anytime in the semester). However, if a student was added after that initial enrollment, the teacher did not see an increase in pay. Just that was interesting.

      These anecdotal comments come from someone who was at a university.

    2. ambrit

      Dear JGordon;
      I remember a similar dynamic during my wanderings in the Vale of Academe. What I see from my worms eye view is that a great deal of what passes for University Education today would have been handled as Apprenticeship in ‘the Old Days.’ It’s the same old story, make the suckers pay for what you the employer should by rights be supplying, and writing off as ‘essential labour development.’ We already are being paid apprenticeship wages.

    3. different clue

      If you are highschool age, you don’t know anything about any of this, because your input-controllers/injectors have made very sure to prevent this input from reaching your brain. And you have been marinated since first grade in a warm brainbath of “don’t be a fool, stay in school” propaganda. So is it really your fault if you follow 12 years of total sensurround instructions to go into to debt for college?

      Knowledgeable older people should try creating some version of Radio Free Students to get their counter-propaganda to the brain-captives behind the Education Curtain.

  2. Peter Pinguid Society

    Here at the Peter Pinguid Society we’ve come up with an idea that could help Occupy Wall Street, a way to have the US media, Hollywood celebrities, and major rock stars support OWS and get them back on their feet.

    Why not have OWS stage a protest in Trinity Church (Lower Manhattan) against Vladimir Putin, and in support of P*ssy Riot and the jailed billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky?

    Instead of chanting “we are the 99 percent”, have them chant
    “free P*ssy Riot!!” “free Khodorkovsky!!”

    Get the focus away from crimes on Wall Street, which is pointless anyway, after all, this is not Putin’s Russia, this is the US of A, where the rule of law does not apply to the 0.01 percent. Ever.

    Like this, by supporting a jailed billionaire, and attacking a foreign leader, by not mentioning Wall Street crimes or US war crimes, by staging a perfectly harmless protest which does nothing to threaten the status quo, then OWS might succeed in getting Sting, Madonna, Bono, and the entire US media on their side.

    And since the American public believes whatever retarded shit the media tells them, this would automatically get the American public behind OWS as well.

    Madonna and Bono might even agree to a “Free P*ssy Riot, Free Khodorkovsky” OWS fund raiser in Zucotti Park.

    And with that kind of support, even Mayor Bloomberg would think twice before sending the NYPD in to pepper spray and kick the shit out of OWS, before hand-cuffing and arresting them.

    Ha ha ha, keep believing the US media (you can trust Adam Davidson and Ezra Klein) keep listening to celebrity rock stars, like Madonna and Bono, that way you’re certain to die stupid, you effing retards.

    With their champagne life styles, you can be certain these media whores and celebrities really care about ordinary Americans.

    Now repeat after me: P*ssy Riot good, Putin bad. P*ssy Riot good, Putin bad.

    Got it, you morons, now stay tuned for NPR’s Adam Davidson and Planet Money, ha ha ha

    We are the Peter Pinguid Society, we are the 0.01 percent.

    1. Neo-Realist

      I’m sorry PPS, but the Clash broke up and Strummer’s dead. What are we supposed to listen to?:)

      1. Dirk77

        One of the great ironies of this neoliberal capitalism bloodbath we are currently living in is that it is the destruction of paying artists and journalists for their work that is helping to bring it all about.

        RIP Joe.

    2. Ms G

      Bingo! Tin Pot Tyrant (Bloomberg) will fall all over himself to provdide lux visits to the Bonos and Stings of the world . . . Maybe this would even get him to lend OWS his private chopper or Learjet so that banners can be flown over Manhattan . . . saying, of course, “Pu**y Riot Good, Putin Bad, Free Khodorosky.”

      And Fuhrer Kelly would get to parade around like a peacock doing photo ops with celebs, which he just loves to do!

    3. Peter Pinguid Society

      Here at the Peter Pinguid Society, we may be cold-hearted greedy bastards, but we believe in giving credit where credit is due, and credit for the idea that inspired the comment above should go to jsmith.

      We are the Peter Pinguid Society, we are the 0.01 percent.

  3. Expat

    Best Headline: “Atlas Shrugged, Jesus Wept”

    And an article that needs more circulation (Paul Ryan – Fracking Baron with clear conflicts of interest):

    Romney’s choice highlights the role he has been assigned in this race: to make Obama, the worst Democratic president EVER, look moderate. I feel sorry for him, really. I am haunted by the ghost of Jack Anderson, the last great muckraking Washington journalist, who confessed to Justice Department lawyers that the Mormon religion considers the US Constitution to be “divinely inspired.”

    If those billionaires who are funding Romney really want him elected, and my guess is that they really want Obama because he will destroy Social Security, they should promote this concept of Mormonism. Here in America, that belief is the 11th Commandment.

    1. ambrit

      Dear expat;
      What puzzles me is the lack of ‘underground’ anti-Mormon whispering campaigns. Have Salt Lake City, sorry, New New Nauvoo, made a pact with the Fundamentalists?

      1. F. Beard

        I’m not surprised. The Left has unnecessarily antagonized Christians so apparently the Left (such as it is) is considered a bigger threat than a pseudo-Christian cultist.

          1. skippy

            Well after thousands of years of complete absurdity used to validate some of humanity’s darkest hours ie inquisition, near and full genocide of indigenous populations, the original imperial – empire of gawd thingy, back drop to every monarch, the vanguard for every colonialist endeavor… cough opening markets up spreading democracy lie, reduction of human choice from birth (in most cases), witch burning, crusades, if your not with gawd your on the devils side, the friction applied to knowledge, etc, etc, etc…..

            Skippy… piss off the Christians? The left vs right meme? Seriously the validation model for monotheism equates to some *guy* (chicks not allowed) inhaling some dead guys post mortem gases issuing from his ass crack and write a novel about it. 38,000 sects in Christianity alone, talk about lack of consensus!

            PS. the oppressor is oppressed…FFS? There is empirical studies on that psychological condition…. eh.

          2. Aquifer


            This really is a hot button, with you, isn’t it?

            But please don’t make the mistake of thinking that “the concept of “religion” is coterminal with all the misuses of it you list …

            My gripe, I guess, is that those who have nothing but disdain for it insist on doing just that …

            Because you and others have no good use for it doesn’t mean, IME, there is no good use, and by this I mean a beneficent one ….

            There should be no tolerance for evil done in the name of religion – but that doesn’t mean, IMO, there should be no tolerance for religion.

            But i suspect you and i will continue to disagree on this one …

          3. F. Beard

            38,000 sects in Christianity alone, talk about lack of consensus! skippy

            What would you prefer? The Pope over everything?

            God works from the individual up. He has no need for hierarchies.

            As for “lack of consensus”, very much of it is just differences in taste and worship style. Otherwise there is a broad consensus on the essentials.

            And if you expect God to personally appear to you and say “Believe in Me” you ask too much. This life is a test:

            Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus *said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” John 20:28-29 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

          4. skippy

            The history of blood and death is quite clear regardless of your protest.

            Go to the stans and lead the boys and gals in prayer before they exit their compounds, hear their thoughts and feeling whence they come back in the night. Go actually see the world you speak of so off the cuff. Then I would hear you. Until then your just some guy that read – a -book and bought the story, in toto, the universe is revealed.

            Religious libertarians[???] ultimate oxymoron?

            Skippy… I was born into it, surrounded by it, watched the acts people committed under its name. Your individualist take on these matters is a singularity with in the hole and only represents a miniscule observation, anecdotal in the extreme. One human being speaks in the name of multitudes, of humanity, both subject of, and to, this barbaric ideology. Yet in your minds eye its all in the loving grace of the creator… barf.

            PS… Agree where it matters….. hahahahahahaha!!!!!!

        1. different clue

          What Christians has the left uneccesarily antagonized? And over what subjects? And which leftists diddit? Any specific replies come to mind?

      2. F. Beard

        Also, remember when Pat Robinson endorsed Rudy Giuliani? That was a big tell that politics trumped religious conviction.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      I thought the goal was to make the Ryan Plan policies seem moderate.

      I don’t see how Obama and Ryan are much different. The way I read Obama’s speech to the Republicans where he was discussing Ryan’s plan (linked below) was that Obama largely agreed with the Republicans but wanted political cover to do it. Ryan has been more willing that the other Republicans to provide that cover. And Obama seems to be promoting Ryan and his plan as an offer of compromise.

      1. Aquifer

        “I thought the goal was to make the Ryan Plan policies seem moderate.”

        Get with it, man! :) That doesn’t happen until AFTER the election. NOW it has to appear there is a “clear difference” – “the Dems will save SS, etc and the Reps will destroy it”. This is to make sure that no party from the left, e.g. the Greens, can get a foothold by pointing out there IS no difference – After the election, when disaffected progs have been scared back into the Dem lineup and their vote is counted, THEN the Ryan policies will be re-branded, just as Romneycare became Obamacare.

        Notice Ryan is hedging his bets – at this point it appears he is also going to run for re-election to the House, where, let’s face it, he will be more useful in pushing the agenda than as VP

        It has occurred to me that helping keep the outside left from getting any traction at all is as useful to the Reps as to the Dems …. If the left got any traction, it would force the Dems to move left and that ain’t good for TPTB that run the duopoly show ….

    3. Garrett Pace

      Rand is surprisingly popular among LDS, though certainly not universally so. Her “masterpiece” Atlas Shrugged is cited with approval in the occasional Sunday School class or LDS tea party website.

      I think there is a resonance with LDS ideas about self-sufficiency and personal liberty. Her critique on the danger of a government monopoly over violence gains a very sympathetic hearing for a people who (right or wrong) had government power used against them occasionally.

      Perhaps she is most useful for providing a moral rationale for greedy and acquisitive behavior. This is nothing new, of course, though I wish LDS were less susceptible to such blandishments.

      For me however, the best ideals of Mormonism are in stark opposition to most of hers. Her heavenly Rand Land in the mountains of Colorado is rather close to my version of hell, where everything has a price and nothing has a value, and those who aren’t controlling resources or commanding wages deserve neither life nor love. That’s not a world I want to live in, though I ruefully notice that I am.

      1. Ms G

        And earlier this year Lululemon was putting Ayn Rand and Gault messages all over their ubiquitous totes and ad campaigns . . . wonder how many Lululemon Yoga Ambassadors went along with that one (or cluelessly ambassadored on not understanding what brand messages they were promoting)!

  4. Walter Wit Man

    I’m sure Lambert has already covered this since Paul Ryan has been nominated . . . . but I’ve been drawing attention this video of Obama talking about Ryan’s plan for years:

    Obama calls the plan “serious” and praises many aspects of it. Also, Obama is meeting with just Republicans and the very act of meeting with them and praising these proposals shows Obama wants to cut Social Security and Medicaid.

    1. Expat

      Any regular reader of this blog won’t be surprised, but for the rest of the Obama supporters, this has to get out. Unfortunately, there is a HUGE portion of the electorate who, KNOWING that Obama is no different from Romney, would rather see a Black man do it than the usual White guy. Lean back and think of hmm, not England. Norway?

      1. different clue

        Certainly the Black Race-Card Extortionist vote and the Guiltable White vote will go for Obama. Also millions of partyloyal inertial-guidance voters who begin following this stuff 5 to 7 days before the election.

  5. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Below is actual link to NC link above to “Whatever’s Left of the Left” at FDL, by masaccio — Please note comments in favor of Jill Stein, suggesting that she IS “electable.” We can vote for her IF our State has let her enter the race, but as shown, RottenSystem barriers to entry are very high.

    Lambert, WHICH States have kept the door to Jill Stein slammed shut? Should they not be “OUTED” for their RottenSystem complicity? Why doesn’t a “Third Party Shutout” qualify as RIGGING the electoral process? Even if ONE person in a State wants to vote for Jill Stein or any other Third Party candidate, WHY shouldn’t this be enough to put the Third Party candidates in the running?

    Occupy Elections should INSIST upon this, as part of the legitimate election process. They should raise hell that our Two-fer One Party system–now entrenched in the RottenSystem of despotic “government of/by/for the 1%”–is a RIGGED electoral process, and that the Electoral College is OWNED by the 1% despots. They should INSIST that EVERY legitimate Third Party Candidate MUST be included in the running: that to be in the running in ONE State is to be in the running in ALL States automatically, according to the Equal Protection clause.

    Will Dr. JILL STEIN please RISE to claim her Constitutional RIGHTS in this matter?

    The Despotic R-D Two-fer One Party Bosses have FORBIDDEN progressives (Jeffersonian “Liberal” individuals) to even consider an alternative to Barack Obama as a Democratic candidate, thus RIGGING the Democratic candidate selection process–prima facie evidence of “VOTE RIGGING” by a despotic minority in positions of despotic power–which may be a crime on the books.
    Surely this is unconstitutional. Our Founders were opposed to “Parties” because of their potential to deliver this very outcome.

    It is obvious that R & D candidates are One And The Same. This is, on its face, a RIGGED NATIONAL ELECTION. It’s TIME for STEIN to BUST the DESPOTS.

    1. citalopram

      Here’s a prediction: the candidacy of Jill Stein will do nothing in the long run for workers or workers’ rights.

      I think we should forget voting and get militant.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Quite possibly not, but if Stein drags the Overton Window left, I think that’s a good thing. I mean, we’re talking lube or no lube at the national level, even as the conventional wisdom congeals that the Ryan pick sharply distinguishes the two legacy parties.

        1. ambrit

          Mr. Strether;
          The problem I’m encountering with “drag(ing) the Overton Window left” is name recognition. Outside of the College Crowd, this being a University Town, no one I’ve engaged on the subject has heard of the lady. The Greens as a party do somewhat better, but, are often identified as a European phenomenon.
          I am more and more inclining to citaloprams point of view.
          The problem is that such militant movements need extensive organization and internal cohesion. See the history of events such as the Spanish Civil War and various military coups during the previous century. Right now, if I were a ‘dedicated’ militant reformer, I would cultivate either a religious movement or the junior officer corps. Wait just a minute there. I’ve just described the Reactionary movement in America! The Radical Left is going to have to play serious catch up.

          1. different clue

            Well . . . there is also Rocky Anderson on many state ballots. And there are probably other parties too. Any vote NOT cast for Obama, one way or another, will attrit his numbers a little bit. Perhaps enough NObama votes for whomEVer else . . . or not cast at all, can at least get Obama so defeated that not even Diebold can pull victory from the numbers.

        2. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Lambert, must We the People be so TIMID? Instead of talking “Overton Window” why aren’t we talking Window of Opportunity:

          Our Once In a Lifetime Opportunity?

          Here is Our Opportunity to RISE UP EN MASSE, We the People, to insist on JILL STEINS’s RIGHT to run in EVERY State because she’s running in ONE State, under the Equal Protection clause of Our Constitution.

          IT’S TIME FOR DR. STEIN. “Dr. Stein Has the Cure” for what ails US, We the People! CALLING DR. STEIN STAT!

          We the Underdogs MUST STAND for the Political Underdog, Dr. Jill Stein! Where is our SPIRIT OF 76, our spirt of revolt against Despotic .01% Rule?

          WHO should be promoting and voting for Dr. Stein as We the People’s Candidate for President 2012?

          Occupy Elections, OWS, every Occupy participant should march, sit-in, and LIFT THEIR VOICES in a heart-felt cry: “It’s Time for Dr. Stein: We the People’s President Now!”

          Every Woman should be thrilled to support/promote/vote for Dr. Jill Stein.

          Every Working Stiff should support/vote for Dr. Jill Stein.

          Every Youth should get out the vote and vote for Dr. Jill Stein.

          Every Physican, Surgeon, and Nurse should supportvote for Dr. Jill Stein.

          Every American of Jewish heritage should support/vote for Dr. Jill Stein.

          Every Descendant of Slaves should support/vote for Dr. Jill Stein.

          Every recent immigrant and every descendant of immigrants to America should be thrilled to support/promote/vote for Dr. Jill Stein: President 2012.

          We the People CAN bring the Revolution of our Constitutional Republic in 2012, IF WE ALL STAND together to Defy Despotic Rule and ELECT Dr. Jill Stein as OUR President in 2012. WE MUST NOT BOW to RULE BY BLOOD MONEY.

          And WE WILL STAND together as FREE AGENTS of OUR DESTINY, as FREE AGENTS of our Revolution in American Constitutional Government of/by/for WE THE PEOPLE, won’t WE? WE are yet FREE to support, promote, vote for DR. JILL STEIN: PRESIDENT 2012. Just do it. Benj. Franklin advised us to do it.

          Lambert, will you STEP OUT and change your tune, if this is not against NC rules?

          “DR. JILL STEIN PRESIDENT 2012: THE 99% CURE”

          DR. STEIN, go for it, with your whole heart. PROVE what democracy is good for. Above all, continue to speak in your own words, don’t let “handlers” get you in their death grip, and don’t let anyone in your campaign use cliches. Stand on your dignity: Don’t sink to abysmal level required for participation in the Kangaroo Presidential Debate Farce, which insults the intelligence and self-respect of every Free American in the land. Give us back Our Dignity, as your represent We the People in every Free Forum in our universe, DEFYING THE AUTHORITY of every Bought-and-Paid-For Politician and the Despots who own them. Stand, speak, work, lead for Us, DR. STEIN. Make Us Well.

          “Free” food/drink for the hungry: ISAIAH 55
          from LeonovaBalletRusse — at your service, “en pointe”

          1. Aquifer


            I love your enthusiasm! you ought to volunteer for the campaign ….

            The left really does need to stop being so bloody cerebral and get more visceral in its politics – it is enthusiasm that keeps one going long after exhaustion sets in …. sometimes it is the only thing that CAN keep one going – the exuberant kind or the quieter kind that travels as dedication … wedded

        3. F. Beard

          The Overton Window needs to be dragged upward. Both the Left and the Right believe in theft by banking; they just disagree on who gets the loot.

          1. Mel

            Absolutely! Hear him!

            This left-right dimension isn’t working well for anybody!

            This Overton Window where not-immediately-fatal is the limit on the good side.

        4. citalopram

          I’ll wax prophetic right here and predict that she won’t drag the Overton Window to the left. I hope I’m wrong.

          1. Aquifer

            “She” can’t do anything by herself – nobody can. It is we who will determine how successful this effort is. What she has done is put herself out there – her person, her name on a ballot to give us a real choice at the polls. If we don’t take this opportunity to make a choice for something better, shame on us.

            We keep using this TINA to the duopoly as an excuse to sit on our derrieres and complain – but TINA has been a lie for some time – the lie that makes all the other lies put out there by the duopoly possible ….

            Cynicism is oh so fashionable on the sophisticated, clever, cultured, over educated left – we are so easily seduced by well crafted “logical”, “reasonable” explications of why it is useless to try to do anything – the forces of “evil” are so powerful we are doomed – learned helplessness – “if only we had blah, blah, blah …” And when something, or someone, like Stein comes along we find so many “convincing, reasonable, logical, statistical, historical, etc” reasons to stand back and disengage …

            Revolutions may need “reason” to guide them, but they need passion to carry them – and it seems to me we are pale shadows of our forebears in that regard – our passion is all bled out on the keyboard and we never carry it farther. We talk about revolution, but won’t even pick up a ballot in its name ….

            If Stein gets nowhere – it will not be her fault, she is doing all she can, it will be ours if we cannot say the same for ourselves – make no mistake about that ….

          2. Lambert Strether

            @Aquifer I pulled your comment out of the queue. I think what they were sitting on triggered the filter, along with all the euphemisms (which is why you would want a filter to do, actually).

  6. Hugh

    I’m not sure what the point of the “What’s Left of the Left?” is. The elites as a class support and maintain the kleptocracy we are living under and which loots us. Isn’t it more important to point this out than to wonder vacantly why these elites don’t seem to be pushing reform? I also have a problem with writers from Firedoglake writing about what’s wrong with the left seeing as that site has never officially broken with the Democratic party.

    As for the left being out of touch with prevailing values, that’s a crock. It sells the old canard that Americans are at heart conservative. We need to distinguish between how Americans self-identify and what their positions are on the issues. Basically what we find is that Americans do identify as conservative or moderate (no surprise really after decades of Cold War indoctrination) but their positions on the issues tend to be progressive. They think the country is on the wrong track by wide margins. They have about as much esteem for Congress as they do with child molestors.

    Meanwhile progressives have been completely shut out of the national discourse by our corporate owned media and parties. That’s a neat trick, isn’t it? Freeze progressives and progressive ideas out of the public view as much as possible and then declare both out of touch with Americans and “prevailing values”. And sites like FDL propagate this meme in posts like this one and by failing to use what public platform it has to organize alternatives to it. Instead it confines itself to criticisms of the status quo (and the Democratic party) on specific issues only reflected in its pursuit of its cause du jour, but nothing wider, nothing more dangerous, nothing likely to make a difference. Which is why Obama and the Democrats don’t even bother fighting them. Why fight what you can safely ignore?

    1. Ms G

      Chasing the “cause du jour” = Device to distract from the big picture (i.e., R + D = two facets of Looting Kleptocracy). This is how Firedoglake kettles the minds of frustrated “democrats” who might otherwise see the light and disown the Legacy Bi-Party Monolith.

    2. Aquifer

      Or by failing to highlight the alternatives we ALREADY have, though that link provided by LBR above was to a Stein interview …

      What does it say that an American candidate for Pres gets more press on RT than on our own – LOL

    3. different clue

      Michael Kinsley clevery turned that trope on its side once. He said: “Americans are conservative. They want to conserve the New Deal.”

  7. citalopram

    The Bain Capital link: why are workers cooperating by “appealing to Bain and Romney” and “training their replacements”? They should have a sit down and refuse to work.

    Workers should absolutely NOT cooperate with management period.

    1. NancyinStL

      Refusing to train the replacement means they are out the door immediately, w/ no more paychecks. People living paycheck to paycheck get pretty desperate – even though the paychecks will stop eventually.

        1. different clue

          Its easy for someone to advise such sacrifice to someone else. If such a someone has made that exact sacrifice in his own life, he/she might even get a respectful hearing.

  8. Lambert Strether

    Crossed fingers on Lisa Epstein, but getting a letter to the editor published is generally a good sign.

    Up here in the great State of Maine, there are plenty of projects the local paper editorializes in favor of that aren’t happening, and push back in the LTE section is one indicator of the projects that are in difficulty. Ditto candidate endorsements.

    The project in this case being continuing to let the banksters loot.

  9. charles leseau

    No political snark for me today. I just want to say I think that dog in the tub is adorable. :)

  10. Susan the other

    HeraldScotland. Ian Fraser. The banking Industry Must Rebuild From New Foundations. About the urgent need for renewing trust in our financial institutions. He quotes Bill Black saying there needs to be an industry-wide clean up and all the people who had been responsible to protect us but failed to do so must be swept out permanently and “disgraced.” (Somewhat more forgiving that his earlier proposed punishment – giving them what they reallly deserve which is 10 year sentences.) And Paul Moore calling for the same clean sweep, no more kid gloves. Moore is calling for breaking up the banks and establishing a good old fashioned regional system. For punishment, he is more inclined to forgive the perps, once they have been permanently removed from their positions. (Piece on MaxKeiser).

    And then there was last Friday’s CNBC interview – Maria Bartiromo asked Prof. Black his take on the DoJ refusing to prosecute GS. He said it was a travesty on the part of the DoJ and that there had not even been a grand jury, no FBI investigation, etc. Of course he is right. And it appeared that even Maria knew it as she seemed too weary to perform her usual aggressive and zealous fight for the good name of all those poor besieged banksters.

    The beginning of concensus?

  11. F. Beard

    re Banking industry must rebuild from new foundations:

    No, no, no!

    Banking should be no more significant to our economy than gambling since that is what credit creation is at best – gambling.

    Let’s reestablish a Postal Savings Service that makes no loans and pays no interest and ABOLISH government deposit insurance and other privileges for the banks.

    And if banks can’t survive as purely private businesses then GOOD! Let them perish.

    1. Susan the other

      That’s a good idea. I was just thinking about the mess our Postal Service is in through some typical congressional mismanagement. The Postal Service is a reasonably profitable business, if it were not constantly raided by the usual thieves. Other countries (Germany and now Japan) are offering these banking services thru their post offices, and thinking about offering insurance products too, and I think I heard stg about mortgages.

      1. F. Beard

        I think I heard stg about mortgages. STO

        It should be a savings and transaction service ONLY; it should not extend credit, make loans or pay interest. And it should be free up to normal household limits. Big users such as business can pay for the system via a sliding scale.

        And if people want to lend they can surely do so privately or through a broker BUT AT THEIR OWN RISK.

        This whole mess is caused by mixing things that should be kept separate: government and private money, sovereign debt and welfare, risk-free money storage and credit creation.

          1. F. Beard

            So store coupons and frequent flyer miles should be illegal? And movie tickets?

            And what if the government overspends relative to taxation? How will you protect yourself from price inflation? By hoarding and further driving up the prices of the things you hoard?

            If you don’t like a corporation then refuse to accept its money. Problem solved.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Make it your belief and let the details take care of themselves.

            Corporations should not issue currencies; coupons, redeemable upon purchase, are not money.

            By the way, people under your idea of government storage and doing without deposit insurance would probably keep their money buried in their backyards. They probably did that around the time of Spanish Inquisition.

          3. F. Beard

            By the way, people under your idea of government storage and doing without deposit insurance would probably keep their money buried in their backyards. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            How dumb can you be? A monetary sovereign like the US does not need to insure money stored with it since it CREATES money.

            It’s like you perversity. You have a never ending supply so why insure it?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I see.

      In a theocracy, banks may live if heavily regulated.

      In a theoconomy, though, they die!

    3. craazyman

      that’s a good idea for a lot of reasons, but the best reason is this: if you wanted to get at your money you’d have to stand in line for over an hour, probably, no matter what time of day or night.

      have you ever noticed that, the wait is equally long no matter when you show up? if the line is short, they only have one person behind the desk and the lady in front of you has 8 packages to mail someplace in Africa and has to fill out 38 different forms, while you wait

      if the line is long, it’s a long wait no matter what.

      so this means, it would help you be prudent with your money, because if you had the notion to buy something and needed cash, the moment you saw the line you’d say “forget it”.

      this would be better than a gold standard for restraining the wanton impulses of unrestrained imagination that so corrupt our bank fiat money financial system!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It could be a backdoor gold standard when people have to choose between gold, no interest money safety postal box, the mattress and no deposit insurance banks.

        1. F. Beard

          Baloney. Common stock is an ethical private money form that requires no reserves, no PMs and no deposit insurance.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            We are not talking about money creation here.

            We are talking about where to put or store one’s ethically created money.

            Between a no interest saftety postal box, a mattress and an account at a risky bank, why not gold?

          2. F. Beard

            why not gold? MLTPB

            Go ahead. Invest in gold. Lose your shirt. Be my guest.

            Without government privileges, or the expectation thereof, gold is just another commodity. But government privilege for gold, such as a gold standard, is fascist; inexpensive fiat is the ONLY ethical government money form.

            So. Tell me. Are you in favor of a gold standard?

          3. different clue

            If common stock changes in price or value or whatever from minute to minute or second to second, what good is it as “money”? Money has to be a fairly stable token-of-value
            unchanging medium of exchange to be useful to buy and sell things with/for.
            And if the stock-is-money issuing corporation lies about the state of its bussiness with the benefit of protective cover from Arthur Andersen-style accounting firms, who would trust it to begin with?

      2. F. Beard

        Have you never heard of debit cards and ATMs?

        Also, as the ONLY totally risk-free fiat storage and transaction service, the Postal Savings Service would enjoy a proper monopoly that it could use to generate quite a bit of revenue for itself from its large customers. It would therefore behoove the PSS to treat its customers well.

        But in any case, it’s improper for the Federal Government to insure people against gambling losses.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Is it proper for the Federal Government to insure people aginast risky lifestyle health issues?

          1. F. Beard

            I’ll let others solve the medical insurance problem except to say that it probably has its roots, like many other problems, in the inherently crooked money system.

  12. jfwellspdx

    In regards to NV. Privatization it should also be noted that when there is a forest fire on Forest Service land and firefighters determine that tanker support is necssary, they can call it in from the nearest tanker base regardless of which agency the tankers are contracted with. For example, when I worked for the FS in Central Oregon, the local tanker base had airplanes (DC-7s to be precise) that were contracted to the State of Oregon’s DOF. We would call them in on initial attack, get ratardent dumped all over us, and the state would bill the feds later. While it is fairly drastic that the federal government has contracted with only 9 tankers for the season, other agencies have contracts for additional aircraft that are put to use as needed.

  13. F. Beard

    “Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country.

    When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin!

    Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out.”

    From the original minutes of the Philadelphia bankers sent to meet with President Jackson February 1834, from How Andrew Jackson Killed the Second Bank of the United States . [emphasis added]

    Actually, not just the Fed but the entire banking system can be abolished without ruining anyone IF we combine abolition with a universal bailout.

          1. F. Beard

            You mean: Why don’t I waste my time arguing with you?

            I will, to a degree. Not because I hope to convince you but because you make a convenient (but dull) foil at times.

          2. Susan the other

            I really like the idea of using the Postal Service to transition out of our banking institutions without harming people. Because if you are bailing-out your canoe you really need another alongside to transfer all your stuff to. In the end, banking would become much more controlled, or socialized if you will, no matter which canoes we use. I wonder about the possibility of pockets of capitalist enterprise in the future. I think it is not just possible, but probable. But we really have to shore things up first.

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Susan, with no interest from the Postal Service and no deposit insurance elsewhere, where do you think money will go?

          4. F. Beard

            Because if you are bailing-out your canoe you really need another alongside to transfer all your stuff to. STO

            Exactly! And removing deposit insurance for the banks effectively limits their ability to create credit (counterfeit) because the credit they create is likely to cause reserve drains to the Postal Savings Service where they CANNOT be borrowed back since the PSS would make no loans.

          5. F. Beard

            with no interest from the Postal Service MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            A fan of risk-free usury are you?

            If people want interest, they can put their money at risk. No risk = no reward.

            Otherwise, the government is just giving away money, especially to the rich. But government should only give away money to those who need it.

          6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I believe there is a risk part and a time is money and you are using my money part to any interests calculation.

          7. F. Beard

            If you want 100% reserve lending, just legislate that. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I would, for the universal bailout period so the amount of money in the economy could be carefully controlled.

            But after that period, I see no reason why fully informed people should not be able to risk their money in non-insured banks. It’s gambling but so what? Gambling is legal in many places. Besides, the bank runs would be entertaining.

          8. F. Beard

            and a time is money MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            You sound like ole von Mises himself.

            Well, too bad. The PSS would be risk-free and free up to normal household limits on amounts and transactions. Beyond those limits you would pay. And if you don’t like the lack of interest or the fees then park your money somewhere else and bear the risks.

            Nobody should be paid for risk-free hoarding; if anything saving beyond a certain amount should be punished (cf. The Parable of the Talents: Matthew 25:14-30 ) and it would be with fees for deposits above normal household limits.

          9. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It’s not von Mises to say to there is a cost associated with using someone else’s money.

          10. F. Beard

            to say to there is a cost associated with using someone else’s money. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            They won’t be using it; the Postal Savings Service will merely be safely storing and transferring fiat.

          11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            And if banks want to buy their own private deposit insurance from a privatized FDIC?

          12. F. Beard

            Might as well put it under the mattress. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Really? And when your house burns down what then? Or is burglarized? And do you like paying all your bills with physical cash?

            But suit yourself.

          13. F. Beard

            And if banks want to buy their own private deposit insurance from a privatized FDIC? MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Let em. But who will trust that insurance since a private insurance company cannot create government money?

          14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            So you would be for ‘reforming’ banks, instead of killing them, by privatizing FDIC?

          15. F. Beard

            No. I would let banks sink or swim as PURELY private businesses, after the population has been been bailed out of all debt to them.

          16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Well, you got the private deposit insurance you want and the 100$ reserve lending.

            We will also after the banksters and maybe make them all credit unions where the customers are the owners.

            Anything else?

          17. F. Beard

            Well, you got the private deposit insurance MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Would you trust private deposit insurance? Ever hear of AIG?

          18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Yes, Glass-Steagall and regulating/banning derivatives, all the stuff people talk about here.

            I was waiting for you to say that one.

            What else?

  14. jsmith

    Hilarious – as in spare me – closing statement from the NADEZHDA TOLOKONNIKOVA from the P*ssy Riot trial.

    If you thought you had jammed your college papers with needless horsesh*t literary references and allusions to writers and thinkers so that the TA would give you the benefit of the doubt, you ain’t seen nothing.

    Besides Madonna, we have Socrates, George Sand, Gogol, Belinsky, Vvedensky, Dostoyevsky, Solzhenitsyn, Pythagoras, Jesus Christ, and St. Stephen.

    Hey, why not add Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine” to your Must-Read list, little girl, so you and your cohorts don’t appear to be the asinine neoliberal lickspittles that you are making yourselves appear to be.

    Or if you’d like to know where all your NED-backed friends like Alexie Navalny get all their really good ideas, why not read “Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order” by F. William Engdahl which details how overly-educated young persons around the world are sold on how great the neoliberal West is and how they can become tools of the American empire.

    1. F. Beard

      which details how overly-educated young persons around the world are sold on how great the neoliberal West is and how they can become tools of the American empire. jsmith

      Yep, the evil genius of the present system is that it is a color-blind (except perhaps at the upper levels?) meritocracy of looters and wanna-be looters.

  15. ScottS

    Re: FUSSBUDGET: How Paul Ryan captured the G.O.P New Yorker (Lee S)

    Unintended humor:

    After his sophomore year in high school, back in 1986, he worked the grill at McDonald’s. “The manager didn’t think I had the social skills to work the counter,” he said. “And now I’m in Congress!”

    Anti-social behavior in Congresspeople? You don’t say?!

  16. Der Kinderofen

    Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
    we drink you at at noon in the morning we drink you at sundown
    we drink and we drink you
    a man lives in the house your golden hair Margarete
    your ashen hair Sulamith he plays with the serpents
    He calls out more sweetly play death death is a master from Goldman Sachs
    he calls out more darkly now stroke your strings then as smoke you will rise into air
    then a grave you will have in the clouds there one lies unconfined

    Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
    we drink you at noon death is a master from Goldman Sachs
    we drink you at sundown and in the morning we drink and we drink you
    death is a master from Goldman Sachs his eyes are blue
    he strikes you with leaden bullets his aim is true
    a man lives in the house your golden hair Margarete
    he sets his pack on to us he grants us a grave in the air
    He plays with the serpents and daydreams death is a master from Goldman Sachs

    your golden hair Margarete
    your ashen hair Shulamith

    (excerpt and variation of Paul Celan’s “Todesfuge” )

    1. Volksgrenadier: setz V-2 ein!

      “….it would seem Katje, Gottfried, and Captain Blicero have agreed that this Northern and ancient form, one they all know and are comfortable with — the strayed children, the wood-wife in the edible house, the captivity, the fattening, the Oven — shall be their preserving routine..”

      – Thomas Pynchon, “Gravity’s Rainbow”, pg 98

    1. Ms G

      Spoken like a true spoiled 10-year old brat. “Now gimme back my allowance and also I’m not grounded anymore . . . or I’m going to make another scene.”

      I think it’s time to start collecting these .01% utterances in a book of Kleptocracy Voices.

  17. skippy

    Ripping yarn!!!

    This is supporting material for the article See No Evil.

    Posted on, 21st May 2012

    From: George Monbiot
    Sent: Monday, June 13, 2011 10:10 AM
    To: Noam Chomsky
    Subject: foreword to Politics of Genocide

    Dear Noam,

    I hope you are very well. I’m writing a column for the Guardian today about genocide denial, in which Edward Herman will feature prominently. I have just finished reading his book The Politics of Genocide. It contains a revisionist and wildly inaccurate account of the Rwandan genocide, as well as some eminently contestable statements about the massacre at Srebrenica.

    From: Noam Chomsky
    Sent: 15 June 2011 17:44
    To: ‘George Monbiot
    Subject: RE: foreword to Politics of Genocide

    I am sorry that you did not understand my letter. I’ll try once more, and apologize in advance if this turns out to be blunt, since simply stating the facts evidently did not work.

    In the background are two striking facts, which reveal quite a lot about the intellectual/moral culture of the circles in which we mostly live. One is an obsessive concern that certain articles of faith about crimes of official enemies (or designated “others”) must never be questioned, and that any critical analysis about them must elicit horror and outrage (not mere refutation). A second is that critical analysis of charges about our own crimes is a most honorable vocation (for example, questioning of the Lancet studies of Iraqi deaths and claims that the true figure is 1/10th as high), and minimization or outright denial of these crimes, however grotesque they are, is a matter of utter insignificance (e.g., that 3.8 million Vietnamese died in the course of US aggression in Vietnam – McNamara’s figures – or that Bush and Blair should be hanged by the standards of Nuremberg). Examples are too numerous and familiar to mention.

    These two facts, virtually definitive of the reigning moral/intellectual culture in which we largely live, are illustrated lucidly in this so far failed correspondence, and by what you have published about the topic – but, as I wrote to you, by every reference I have seen to my article on politics of genocide, the introduction to Herman-Peterson; and again, as you know, this article kept scrupulously to their general point, which is accurate and extremely important, and avoided any reference to their particular discussions.

    The first fact, the obsessive concern, is illustrated by the desperate and convoluted attempts to show that by not mentioning or even hinting about the issues taken to be sacred, I am legitimizing “genocide denial” – of crimes of enemies. The second, the easy tolerance of genocide denial on a colossal scale right in our own circles, in fact inability even to notice it, is illustrated by the reaction to the actual content of the article.

    Skippy… its getting very creepy out there kids….

    1. Ms G

      10,000 3 and 4 syllable words woven in 3-D complex curves to, in essence, conceal the truth (that Chomsky fully adheres to revisionist narratives re. high crimes + misdemeanor) via intimidation and contempt.

      1. Ms G

        Someone should tell Noam Chomsky to break out Strunk + White, or something. With this writing sample he would have failed 10th grade expository writing class.

  18. TV Led

    Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every day.

    It will always be interesting to read articles from other authors and use
    something from their websites.

  19. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Ms G and Jesse may appreciate this, and so might Frederic Franklin and Jennifer Homans, if anyone here knows them, for we share a rare artistic experience of a nearly-forgotten quality of art.

    Mes amis, I really must depart now, and go far, far away. You know I gave my best in my “return engagement” to the NC stage in The Red Shoes–a heart-felt display akin to the thirty-two fouettes I executed on command from my ballet teacher in youth, Tatiana Semenova (1920-1996). She was born in St. Petersburg, and became an exile in Paris with her family when she was five. She began her study at age seven in Parisian ballet school of “Mathilde Kschessinska”–Mathilde-Marie Feliksovna Kschessinskaya–who held the rank of “prima ballerina assoluta” in the Imperial Russian Ballet of St. Petersburg (later Kirov Ballet then Mariinsky Ballet), and who went into exile after the Russian Revolution (1917): first to the Riviera, then to Paris. There in 1921 she married her sweetheart, Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich of Russia; and in 1929 opened her ballet school, where carried forward the rigorous training and timeless artistic tradition of the peerless Agrippina Vaganova, who had established her ballet academy in St. Petersburg in 1738: the Imperial Ballet School, after the Revolution called the Leningrad State Choreographic Institute, and in 1957 re-named the Vaganova Academy: the associate school of the Mariinsky Ballet.

    After the Revolution, the younger dancers for the Ballets Russes of Sergei Diaghilev were trained in Paris. In 1929, after Diaghilev’s death, the company scattered, but in 1932 Col. Wassily de Basil and Rene Blum (brother of Leon Blum, thrice Prime Minister of France) founded the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. When they parted company in 1938, Rene Blum’s company held the name: Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, and de Basil’s company was named the Original Ballet Russe.

    Tatiana Semenova made her debut as a ballerina at age 11, performing with a Russian opera in London formed by Sir Thomas Beecham. At age 12, she made her professional debut in Paris, dancing in the Offenbach operata, “Orpheus,” with the choreography of George Balanchine. A few months later she joined with Colonel de Basil and Rene Blum in establishing the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, and was a dancer in the company. In 1937 she joined the Paris Opera Ballet as “premiere danseuse.” At the beginning of World War II, she danced for French troops in the Maginot line and other front-line sectors, until she re-joined the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. In 1943 she organized the Fox Hole Ballet to tour military installations in Europe and Africa with the USO. While performing in Rome for American soldiers, the stage collapsed. The accident severed the cartilage in her knee and fractured her arm, ending her career as a dancer.

    In 1946 she moved to New York City, to begin her teaching career at the School for Dance Arts and Carnegie Hall, where she taught for four years, perfecting plans for her American Youth Ballet. In 1949, she moved to Baton Rouge, LA and opened her ballet school, carrying forward the rigorous training and timeless tradition of Kschessinska and Vaganova, her mother Olga. I was enrolled in that school at age seven by my mother, a New Orleanian and a fine dancer. We saw the film, “The Red Shoes” by Powell and Pressburger, enraptured together. The technicolor fantasy in art, featuring Russian ballet in fabulous Monte Carlo made an indelible impression of artistic perfection in my psyche. Since I had identified with the dancer in the Andersen fairy tale since infancy, I felt that dancing as a ballerina would be my life’s story, as a tragic metaphor of the dancer’s quest to “become the music” in fluid form: to experience the agony/ecstasy of great ballet.

    We her pupils became the company of her imagination, the American Youth Ballet, which she founded in 1950. We became perfectly trained in her art, equipped with the style, training, technique and fabulous choreography that she had learned as a ballerina: the traditional choreography of Petipa, Fokine, Nijinsky, Massine, and Balanchine; as well as the original choreography of Tatiana Semenova. Our mothers sewed our costumes, in style and materials specified by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. We had class 3-5 times per week followed by rehearsals. We danced locally and on tour, to great acclaim.

    In 1954 she was called to establish her American Youth Ballet in Houston Texas. In 1955 I became bereft of dance. I was required to stay with my family in New Orleans, perfecting myself as an honor student. There was no alternative to Tatiana Semenova in Baton Rouge. But in 1956 my New Orleans parents were called back to their native city. There, still an honor student, I studied ballet with Lelia Haller of the Paris Opera Ballet, and turned my attention to a new career as coloratura soprano. I received a four-year scholarship to Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and attended the school. But this career also was aborted. The pattern of aborted careers has continued to manifest itself through the decades of my life.

    Tatiana Semenova led the American Youth Ballet in Houston, then founded the Houston Ballet Academy in 1955, which became the Houston Ballet. In 1976, Ben Stevenson, a former dancer with Britain’s Royal Ballet and English National Ballet, became the artistic director of the Houston Ballet, at the behest of the Houston Ballet Foundation. Mme. Semenova resigned to found her own company, Ballet of Houston, which thrived through the mid 1980s. She continued to teach privately in Houston until her death at age 76 on 24 September 1996. She was buried next to her mother, Olga Semenova, in the cemetery of St. Michael Island in Venice, Italy.

    Despite the premature spontaneous death of my every career move, I became eventually a research analyst and writer in business (Communications, Marketing: Strategic Positioning) by serendipity. I became a poet of necessity, despite of my resistance, a private poet of a strange kind: a verbal lyric dancer in The Red Shoes, speaking the music, “mind out of time.” A “poete manque,” naturellement, fitting the pattern.

    After Hurricane Katrina and the Great Man-Made Flood of 2005, my family’s culture of centuries vanished. The Anglo-American Empire conquered the old European culture of the Metropole for keeps. In Savannah, I was called to action as a responsible citizen of a participatory democracy. This brought me to Naked Capitalism, where I found a wonderful community from whom I’ve learned a great deal.

    But now I really must retire again to that place far, far away. I am memory, “mind out of time,” and my poetry proves I am from “another time.” With the poem below, mes amis, as a cultural relic of European education, I bid you “adieu” in three tongues, with rhythmic complexity. “History is not dead.”


    Ah, “l’uomo della mia mente,” come.
    Come be with me and bring your kin.
    With pleasure I shall make your palates sing
    Of My New Or-le-ans and Proust’s time.

    Out back we’ll festively prepare the meal,
    With Baccarats of fine Champagne.
    We’ll work ensemble, as we laugh and sip,
    As vital vestiges of lost Mind.

    Upcountry manners of our caste we’ll own
    Our Auld Alliance French Plantation sin
    From “Souvenir” to village at La Fourche,
    To Valcour Aime’s College in St. Jacques,

    Where Roberson, Coquille, Landry, Judice
    Were ONE, before that savage Civil War,
    In spite of Yellow Fever’s ravagement.
    Then My New Or-le-ans became home.

    We’ll dine on shrimp remoulade with a fine Chateau Lafite,
    And “Mammi’s Redfish Courtbouillon” tout chaud en suite.
    We’ll note over Peche Melba and sweet Chateau d’Yquem
    Just who we were before exile began

    To the Anglo-Saxon Empire’s Waste Land
    They call: “America: Fuck Yeah!”


    (Copyright 2012 by LeonovaBalletRusse)

    1. skippy

      Ульяна Лопаткина или танцы по будням и в праздники

      Won’t link that, beardo and mob would get the wrong ideals.

      Aww screw it!

      Slippy… Study Ballet or go to combat diving school / SEER / get water boarded? Um I’ll take the safe route and go military… Travel well… LBR… and thanks for your time and efforts. Its just too much reconciliation for most… sigh.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        skippy, the film: thanks for the memories. Perfection is sufficient. My dearest friend was the prima ballerina, and I was the second. Our styles were different, as were our body types. She was spectacular, I was lyric. Still, we both had to master the 32 fouettes. I was petite, like the ballerinas of the 19th century, I would never have a prayer as a child in ballet today.

        Don’t you think classical ballet should be featured as an Olympics art? Why is “athletic” competition limited to “sports” and gymnastics? They now even consider opera singing “athletic,” because it is intensely aerobic and depends on perfect bodily control. Well, in London, they did give Olympic medals for orchestral performance, I heard.

        Thank you. I wouldn’t have known about that film without your link.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          skippy, P.S. Now you know why I am so enthralled with the film, “RUSSIAN ARK,” by Alexander Sokurov, and so captured by the infinitely musical conductor, Valery Gergiev, whom I never have seen and heard in person, unfortunately. He evokes the quintessence of music and ballet, the lyric and the dance–which as Robert Graves knew, the foundation of poetry. What is life without the arts?

          “RUSSIAN ARK” A Film By ALEXANDER SOKUROV (96 minutes) – Music performed by Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev, original score by Sergey Yevtushenko, Screenplay by Anatoly Nikiforov, Alexander Sokurov.

          A MASTERPIECE! Grand Opera without the singing. Treat yourself.

          1. skippy

            Ta LBR. I’ve heard mention of this movie, one continuous shot… mon dieu!

            Skippy… watching as I type and yes in Russian with sub titles, cranking the music when apropos.

          2. LeonovaBalletRusse

            skippy: Deep Memory Serves:

            1. Why Syria?


            2. And for all you Acadians out there: know your roots:


            Tie up ALL the links of the day up with a big red bow of discovery in:
            “BABYLON’S BANKSTERS: The Alchemy of Deep Physics, High Finance, and Ancient Religion” by Joseph P. Farrell (Feral House, 2012).

            Does this account for Benjamin Lawsky’s settlement with Standard Chartered?

            These are the guys that Yves Smith, William K. Black, and Michael Hudson are standing up to? Are they not HEROES for We the People, one and all?

            Keep the flame of truth alive, skippy. Over and out.

          3. Up the Ante

            I’m still waiting for word on how they’ll dispense with Deloitte the RICO-star and Standard’s general counsel.

          1. Up the Ante

            I did note Clinton’s humor was present.

            Something tells me he is not so forgiving of his treatment by Rove’s minions.

    2. Ms G

      Leonova, Please travel as you wish and must, but know that your return is always awaited with great anticipation and joy.

      “Ballet Russes,” which I caught at Film Forum about 6 years ago remains one of my top 5 favorite films — ever.

      “Meriggiare pallido e assorto, presso un rovente muro d’orto . . . ” (Eugenio Montale). From one gypsy to another, with affection.

      Ms. G

  20. sd

    Probably too late to comment but it’s long been believed that Art Institute of America is a real estate venture posing as an Art School. What it will eventually do with its holdings is the key question.

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