Links 8/20/12

New Family of Spiders Found in Oregon Cave Associated Press (Carol B)

We Shouldn’t Give Up on SETI ieee Spectrum

What’s Lost (And Found) In Machine Translation Big Think

Black Lung Disease: Life-Saving Rules, Technology Stymied By Politics, Experts Say Huffington Post (Carol B)

US Army grants $3 million for anti-suicide nasal spray research RT (Chuck L)

Cartel Pushes Up Rubber Price Wall Street Journal

BIS says Australian banks are too big MacroBusiness

Belize to Skip Payment If Lenders Don’t Relent Wall Street Journal (Joe Costello)

Der Spiegel Says Hydra Residents Besieged Tax Inspectors Greek Reporter

ECB May Set Yield Limits on Euro Sovereign Bonds, Spiegel Says Bloomberg (Ilja). This would be HUGE if this is real (and if they were to set the rates low enough to provide real, lasting relief), but this is also a huge departure from what the surplus countries have said they are willing to back. Waiting for my readers of the German tea leaves to report in, but my guess is that this is a trial balloon and/or a way to keep Mr. Market on board till Sept 12.

A warning from the past: N. Kaldor on the Eurozone Yanis Varoufakis

Web snares Vietnam as bloggers spread protests over land Reuters (Lambert)

Bo Xilai’s Wife Gets Suspended Death Sentence Bloomberg

George Will Makes Fool Of Self While Beating Dead Apocalypse Horse EconoSpeak

An Unserious Man Paul Krugman, New York Times

Poverty in America: Why Can’t We End It? New York Times (Carol B)

Wall Street Sets the Rules for Regulators American Banker

Investors baffled by subdued Vix level Financial Times

Sad But True: Corporate Crime Does Pay Alternet (furzy mouse)

The three Ds of finance and the race to the bottom Nicholas Shaxson

Low-interest locusts: David Cay Johnston Reuters (Carol B). From earlier this month, but still important. Further thoughts: Whippings for Workers and Locusts for Savers masaccio, Firedoglake

* * *

lambert here:

D – 21 and counting*

“If I were to begin borrowing money I would end by devising means of persuading the Secretary of the Treasury to lend me the gold reserve.” –Nero Wolfe in Rex Stout’s Fer de Lance.

Meet the Press as told to The Bobblespeak Translations: “MCDONNELL: America is awesome! We’re broke! USA! USA! GREGORY: rock on”

Occupy. Occupy Tampa: “Occupy Tampa has formed a Regional General Assembly to coordinate Occupy groups throughout the bay area, including: Occupy Lakeland, Occupy St. Petersburg, Occupy Bradenton, Occupy USF, Occupy New Port Richey, and Occupy Sarasota. We have tried to plan as much as possible ahead of time, but we want to leave space open to spontaneously produce additional actions by harnessing the number of people that arrive.” … Occupy Tampa: “If this type of illegal behavior from the police continues, the police department and the city of Tampa can expect internal affairs complaints, criminal charges, and civil lawsuits.” … Occupy Tampa, Tea Party vs. Occupy “debate”: “This is not true. Framing the debate in this way perpetuates the misconception of Occupy as a leftist version of the Tea Party. Quite the contrary, we consist of a diverse array of people, ideas, and grievances. Some occupiers do not identify themselves through political affiliations. We are, after all, the 99%.” … CMWSS (Coalition to March on Wall Street South, Charlotte): “CMWSS, this week, was successful in obtaining a ‘convergence space’. Thanks to the donations of supporters the convergence space will be available to all. This large hall will be an essential point for the many protest groups, and individual activists, to rendezvous and converge together.”

CA. Ballot wars: “Robert ‘Bob’ Baker(‘Bob Baker 1’) is seeking reelection to the San Clemente City Council this November.A second Robert ‘Bob’ Baker (‘ Bob Baker 0‘) has appeared out of thin air to challenge his namesake.”

FL. Corruption: “And just Friday, we heard from a longtime GOP donor who said he was denied a seat on Orlando’s airport board — simply because he wouldn’t cough up $10,000.” … Medicare: “Residents ages 45 to 54 account for nearly 15 percent of FL’s population, about 2.7 million people, and would be the first wave of retirees affected by a plan crafted by Paul Ryan, to transform Medicare from a fee-for-service system to a voucher program.”

GA. Charters: “Frankly, this newspaper having been a supporter of the really, truly charter-school concept long, long before it was distorted into a mindless political weapon of deception, hasn’t even known where to begin in warning readers about it. This Trojan horse is, pure and simple, designed to destroy — not improve — local-level public education.” … Water: “Yet, man-made lakes — reservoirs by another name — have become great sources of private profit-making. Land previously valued at less than $10,000 an acre may be worth 10 or 20 times that much once a body of water is made available nearby. Those who have influence over decisions about when and where to build reservoirs are in a position to gain huge financial payouts.” … Corruption: “While The Red and Black [student newspaper] board meetings are closed even to the staff, the students dug up the company’s tax forms and posted them on their website, Among the revelations: [Red and Black Publisher Harry] Montevideo was paid just shy of $190,000 last year. Since the nonprofit company spent just over $1 million that same year, Montevideo took home nearly 20 percent of its budget.” If you remember the UVa board putsch, you know how important the independence of the student newspaper, the Cavalier Daily, was; an independence Montevideo seems to have set out to destroy, and failed. Also, what’s with using frats as “focus groups,” and then censoring coverage of them? (A fine wrap-up at CJR.)

IL. Corruption: “The last time the [IL] House ousted a lawmaker over a perceived misdeed was in 1905, when they expelled another rookie Chicago D, Frank D. Comerford. He suggested that lawmakers had taken bribes and likened the General Assembly to a ‘public auction.'” Quelle horreur!

LA. Petro-state: “50 additional feet of land has collapsed into the southwest side of the sink hole caused by Texas Brine Company’s Oxy Geismar Well #3 near Bayou Corne. Shortly after being rescued the boat that they were working from was pulled down into the sink hole with the tree it was tied to.” … Corruption: “The state Board of Ethics on Friday overruled its own staff’s recommendation that Kira Orange Jones be forced to choose between serving on Louisiana’s top education board and keeping her day job as head of the New Orleans branch of Teach For America.” …. Abstinence: “[Mark Alain] Déry and two Tulane researchers released the results of a study linking abstinence-only instruction in public schools to the epidemic HIV rates among young African-Americans in Louisiana.”

MO. Knuckle-draggers: “Rep. Todd Akin, a leading candidate for the U.S. Senate, said ‘legitimate rape’ victims seldom get pregnant. ‘From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it is a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down‘ ( Macaca moment?). … Non-apology apology: “[AKIN: ] In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, i t’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year.” … From the Department of How Soon We Forget: “There’s a reason why Ds spent over $1.5 million trying to help Akin win his three-way primary” (VastLeft).

KY. Drought: “[Rancher Joseph Watson’s] 1,400 cattle are no longer feeding off corn. The prices, Watson says, are too high to keep corn in stock. So earlier this year, he began to buy second-hand candy. Watson mixes the candy with an ethanol by-product and a mineral nutrient.” Makes perfect sense; candy is High Fructose Corn Syrup.

MN. Corruption: “[A]s can be seen from our video there was a steady stream of people coming and going in and out State Capitol Rm 208. They had been called to the room from a[n email] message from Maureen Watson, to get lunch. [A] number of the people invited do not currently work in the building. They are working for the Senate Victory Fund.” It’s illegal to use state facilities to campaign.

MT. Landfills: “Six to eight employees of the Billings Regional Landfill could be suspended or fired for taking home truckloads of electronics equipment, high-end sporting goods, rifles and other property that was supposed to be disposed of.” Aw, come on. Dump picking?!

NC. Banksters: “The plaintiffs claim BofA helped push the lots, but failed to tell buyers that the developer was insolvent and could not complete the promised “amenities,” such as roads and utilities.”

NY. Petro-state: “On Aug. 17, more than 200 people marched through the Village of Watkins Glen, NY, to protest the proposed LNG storage and transport facility in the Finger Lakes. People within the region are growing increasingly frustrated after attending decision-making meetings, meeting with representatives, writing letters, holding forums, attending hearings and making phone calls in an effort to stop this project–seemingly to no avail.”

OH. Voting: “”I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine,‘ said Doug Preisse, chairman of the county R Party and elections board member who voted against weekend hours.” … Corruption: “Records show [Ohio Superintendent Stan] Heffner dined with Educational Testing Service vice president John Oswald and his wife at a San Antonio restaurant in May of 2011. They ordered $10 cocktails, oysters and escargot. Heffner resigned Aug. 4 after Inspector General Randall Meyer found he engaged in potentially wrongful conduct. Prosecutors are reviewing the case.” …. Fracking: “Ohio University students have developed a database to link shale gas drillers with Ohio companies that can provide supplies and services. Students used a $100,000 rural business enterprise grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop the project.”

PA. Corruption: “[T]he case against former athletic director Tim Curley and former senior vice president Gary Schultz [for lying to the grand jury investigating Jerry Sandusky]is scheduled for January 2013, with jury selection starting Jan. 7 and the trial to follow immediately.”

TN. More guns, please: “[NRA lobbyist Chris] Cox suggested that the solution was for the NRA to appoint its own officials to state government. ‘It’s less expensive, and we’d no longer have to go to the regrettable lengths of making examples of more of you.'” Parody!

TX. Tinpot tyrants: “[Y]ou’re better off having a badge and a rape conviction [ here] than a vagina and consent [ here]. In summary: America.” … Landfills: “[T]he landfill fight in rural [Hempstead, TX] two hours east of Austin has a standard shape: An out-of-state corporation is accused of siting an unsightly dump near a largely poor, largely minority community. The landfill company says the accusations are unfair and that the dump will contribute jobs to a stricken area.” Yes, the playbook. But read for surprise.

WI. Fracking: “But the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, using job-site estimates developed by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation [ Walker’s “public-private” agency], found that when existing mines and those being built are fully operating, the [frack sand mining and processing] industry will employ about 2,780 people — a sizeable number given the state’s overall luckluster job picture.” Good round-up.

Outside baseball. Assange: “[Assange’s] long game is simple. He will run, in absentia, in the next Australian elections.He is more than popular enough to be elected.Once he is an MP, he can’t be touched.” What an awesome idea. … Racism: “In sum, I don’t think [Marginal Revolution’s Alex] Tabarrok is technically correct to say that ‘racists are split evenly between the two parties.’At least by these measures, the split is not exactly even.But he is absolutely correct to say that neither party has a monopoly on racists” (tables). … Cultural markers: ” [T]he ingesting of arugula in no way interferes with one’s ability to have Osama bin Laden shot.” Yeah, and neither did drinking PBR. Shocking, I know. … TPP: “The fourteenth major round of TPP negotiations — and perhaps one of the last — is taking place in Leesburg, VA from September 6 to 15.” … Medicare: “When it comes to Medicare, specifically, South Florida is the fraud capital of the nation. The feds say that fraud sucks up to $90 billion out of the system, and that Miami accounts for about $3 billion of that estimated amount.” … Court nominations: “[Sheldon Goldman UMass Amherst] :”[W]ithout significant changes to Senate rules, a greater push might make little difference. The great expectations when [Obama] was elected have not come to fruition.” Senate rules means “filibuster.” … Filibuster: “The bipartisan duo [of Richard Arenberg and Robert Dove] push the case against an effort led by relative Senate newcomers Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) to change the chamber’s rules by a simple majority vote at the beginning of a new Congress.” That’s the nuclear option. Could have been done in 2009 if Obama and the Ds were serious about passing legislation.

Grand Bargain™-brand cat food watch: Na ga happen: ” ‘We’re not going to have grand bargain [next month]. You can tell from this debate just how highly politicized everything has become,’ Neil Barofsky, the Treasury official who oversaw the Wall Street bailout, said Sunday, during a roundtable appearance on CNN’s State of the Union.”

The trail. Corruption: “The FBI probed a late-night swim in the Sea of Galilee that involved drinking, numerous GOP freshmen lawmakers, top leadership staff — and one nude member of Congress, according to more than a dozen sources, including eyewitnesses.” In a “Biblically significant area”! Ouch!

Robama vs. Obomney watch. Sabbath-day gasbags: “For a presidential contest that was supposed to revolve around jobs, surrogates for the Romney and Obama campaigns spent [Sunday] talking about everything but the economy.” Sabbath-day gasbags: “GILLESPIE: Governor Romney supports increasing over time bringing Medicare eligibility in line with the Social Security retirement age …” which, of course, Obama also supports.

RNCon. Police state: “A Web developer here has mapped 59 security cameras posted downtown for the Republican National Convention” ( here).

DNCon. Camping: “At least nine area counties and municipalities have restricted camping on public property so far this year, citing concerns about the Occupy Charlotte movement and potential protests tied to the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.”

Romney. Corruption: “[Romney] appears to have profited from a marketing company that was contracted by the state of MA after receiving $5 million from Bain, Romney’s investment firm. ” OK, but twice now. Since when was the Telegraph an outlet for D oppo? …. Tax returns: “Both Romney and his newly anointed running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, have advanced policies that would further reduce Romney’s tax liabilities.” Ouch! … Ryan pick, Nate Silver: “So it looks increasingly as though [Romney] made a different sort of gamble — more of a true all-in move. His bet is that the era of triangulation is over: that Republicans can win elections without having to compromise. Or, perhaps, in an era when so few voters are truly undecided, he thinks a robust turnout from the Republican base could be enough to get him the 270 electoral votes needed to win. Will it work? Political theory argues against it, but Republicans have been moving to the right for a couple of decades now, and it is not clear that they have paid much of a price for it.”… Asian vote: “Asian-Americans comprise 4 per cent of the electorate in VA and 8 per cent in NV. The Romney campaign is making aggressive efforts to try to limit Obama’s share of the Asian-American vote this year. It is organising voter registration drives and is handing out campaign bumper stickers in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.”

Obama. “Hope”: “Torture was Bush’s legacy at Guantanamo. I hope that Obama’s legacy will not be that he legitimized indefinite detention without charge.” … Crowds: “Obama campaign operatives, both at the Chicago headquarters and in swing states where Mr. Obama recently has stumped, say the campaign intentionally limits crowds by restricting tickets. The reason is to allow the president to better connect with supporters.”

* 21 days until the Democratic National Convention ends with candy for everyone on the floor of the Bank of America Panther Stadium, Charlotte, NC. ZOMG! Agenda 21!! Oh noes!!!

* * *

Antidote du jour. Richard Smith notes that the rescuers carry on as if this is a familiar task:

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  1. craazyman

    The channelers out in Santa Fe run rings around SETI, and for a lot less taxpayers dollars!

    I don’t know how many alien civilizations they’ve contacted by now but it must be in tbe dozens, if not hundreds.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Leaving aside sorcery for a moment, with respect to space aliens, there are two schools of thought.

      One believes that they need cosmetic surgery to look presentable. This school is heavily funded by the United Plastic Surgeons.

      The other one believes the aliens had plastic surgery already, in order to get the desired look they have now.

      1. craazyman

        Can you imagine having a 35-year-long career with SETI, checking the signals every day. Every day. Nothing every day except space noise, for 35 years.

        And then the next day after you retire. THE NEXT DAY!

        The alien signal comes in like a broadband internet.

        haha hah ahah. crackin me up.

        Somehow, when it comes, I don’t think it will come through a radio telescope. But still, I’d look anyway. You have to do something with your time other than waste it.

          1. craazyman

            there’s gotta be millions of planets out there with life as we know it.

            probably tens of millions.

            they probably look like us too. but they’re too far away ever to get there due to the vast distances.

            they’d come in handy right now for export markets.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Not really sure.

            I think there is a documentary called ‘I Came, I Saw and I Left.’

          3. F. Beard

            Not really sure. MLTPB

            Those who reject the Creator hypothesis have been forced to retreat to the “infinite number of universes hypothesis” because it (life) can’t happen here (by chance alone).

          4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The film was about some space aliens from a sector called ‘Nothing To See Here: Let’s Move Along.’

            I think the director’s point was that was why they left.

          5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Some may be for infinite universes.

            Some may be saying two Creators instead of one.

            I think there are many hypotheses…perhaps an infinite number of hypotheses.

          6. F. Beard

            I think there are many hypotheses…perhaps an infinite number of hypotheses. MLTPB

            Yet you have to choose? And if you choose not to choose is that not also a choice? So choosing is unavoidable.

            The choice then is to choose wisely.

          7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            You are not choosing any of the above when you say you are not choosing.

            You create a new choice.

            It could be a wise choice to wait.

          8. skippy

            This is not even a choice in Abrahamic religion, is it beardo, to admit even under hypothetical debate.

            Skippy.. hence religion and its step child economics, need to constantly reinterpret, its previous positions. Discovery has that effect on static (more like stasis) mental frameworks.

          9. F. Beard

            This is not even a choice in Abrahamic religion, skippy

            Where do you get that? Because the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart? But remember, Pharaoh first hardened his own heart.

          10. skippy

            The best, most direct, simple answer to the question above is: “In order to demonstrate His power, and in order that His name might be proclaimed throughout the entire earth.”

            The reason that is the best, most direct, simple answer to the question is because it is God’s own answer. See Exodus 9:16 and Romans 9:17.

            God raised up Pharaoh and hardened Pharaoh’s heart in order to promote His own glory.

            Skippy… slave religions…. barf

          11. F. Beard

            God raised up Pharaoh and hardened Pharaoh’s heart in order to promote His own glory. skippy

            But God is good. Of course He should be glorified:

            but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 9:24

          12. skippy

            “Pharaoh first hardened his *own* heart.” – beardo

            You are incorrect in this statement, which you used to counter my original “you have no choice” observation. So I have no idea why you segwayed in to: “But God is good. Of course He should be glorified” – beardo. As it has no relevance to the issue at hand, ahhh… retreat the fog.

            Skippy… any way, the original statement I made, was with life existing off world and the constant reinterpretation of belief in light of new discovery’s. RE economics is actually a form of theocracy that must constantly adapt to new empiric evidence. Its kinda like Latin sermons.

          13. F. Beard

            was with life existing off world and the constant reinterpretation of belief in light of new discovery’s. skippy

            What reinterpretation? SETI has heard nothing nor will it ever.

            Retreat? Who’s retreating?

          14. skippy

            You are welcome for being corrected on your personal interpretation of biblical accuracy.

            Skippy… I never said anything about SETI. Personally I think it is a poor utilization of resources and gives folks like you a opportunity to rationalize out comes, due to time constraints, human life span. A better use of resources would be for more unmanned probes to examine our solar system and long range sensors positioned on ground and in orbit.

            PS. I have no problem with you dallying with the – why biz – as long as you don’t judge me or others with it. I’m into the how, cya.

          15. F. Beard

            You are welcome for being corrected on your personal interpretation of biblical accuracy. skippy

            But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them, as the LORD had said. Exodus 8:15

            Skippy… I never said anything about SETI. Personally I think it is a poor utilization of resources and gives folks like you a opportunity to rationalize out comes, skippy

            Yes, it’s no surprise you’d quit a game you’re losing. Let’s abolish modern science too while we’re at it?

            SETI is a GREAT investment lest people like yourself retreat into the fog and say “Them aliens is there, I tells you; we don’t need no stinking proof!”

          16. skippy


            You have just thrust your self into the realm of occupying future time and space, an impossibility imo.

            Yes, it’s no surprise you’d quit a game you’re losing. Let’s abolish modern science too while we’re at it? – beardo.

            Skip… how is relocation of resources quitting? BTW I never said that there was life off planet, just that the probability is extremely high. I’ll wait till the evidence comes in thank you. But, you can say there is zero chance of there being any, personal choice thingy, it has no relevance to T or F.

            Per the conflict in your biblical interpretation, your not alone it seems:

            There are those who believe that the simplest and most accurate reading of Exodus chapters 4-9, and the corresponding text in Romans 9:17ff, rather indicates that it was God Himself and none other who was the primary, initiating, direct, and driving force behind Pharaoh’s choice to harden his heart.

            Romans 9 is perhaps the most difficult chapter in the Bible to read, accurately understand, and fully accept, because what Romans 9 teaches flies in the face of our human inclination to be independent, self-determining, and proud. Romans 9 indicates that it is God, not us—not me—who is in control. In fact, it shows that God is in such total control that He can and does sovereignly elect to show mercy to some people while hardening the hearts of others. And it shows that He is just in doing so. And it shows that I am in no position to challenge Him on the matter (Romans 9:20-21). And it shows that I am also still fully responsible for all of my actions and accountable for all of my choices.

            Am I then saying that God Himself actually arranged for Pharaoh to sin?
            Job. Eden Communications.
            Job was attacked by Satan.

            Yes, in much the same sense that He arranged for Joseph’s brothers to sell Joseph into slavery (Genesis 50:20), Satan to attack Job (Job 1:12), Jews and and Romans to crucify Jesus (Acts 2:23), and sin to exist in the first place.

            Well, if that’s true, how can we explain what seems like a contradiction—that God wills sin which is, by definition, against His will.

            Skippy…. believing is not the same state as knowing thingy… eh. Confusion reigns, thousands of years of it, well get it right one of these days or exterminate every living thing including our species. There’s a reason Social Darwinism and religion are tied at the hip beardo. One is just the extension of the other, that’s what happens when one mob declares its self “The Chosen People”. This fallacy echos through out humanity history, we will repeat it seems.

            What we do…


            As one of the luck ones, your the first to go, personally I’m happy for you… just don’t take every thing else with… please. Seems the libertarian thing to do… eh.

          17. F. Beard

            because what Romans 9 teaches flies in the face of our human inclination to be independent, self-determining, and proud. skippy

            There’s no way we can FORCE God to save us, that’s true. Heaven is His property and unless we are invited we ain’t going there.

            Yet, we are assured that God is merciful, kind, compassionate, gentle, long suffering, patient, tolerant, etc. so we can reasonably hope in His mercy IF we seek Him:

            The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
            To the person who seeks Him.
            It is good that he waits silently
            For the salvation of the Lord.
            Lamentations 3:25-26 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

            The problem is not with Him but with us. You can be sure that everyone worth saving (plus many more besides?) shall be saved.

          18. skippy

            Nothing… you just committed above has – anything to do – with the previous points of order, nor anything to do with FORCE (a projection on your part imo). It has to do with the inherit conflict with key points, within the mythology ie who’s will prevails at the end of it all, this has been debated endlessly with out resolve and over thousands of years (such is the fog).

            I would add that these conflicts are akin to mental stress positions, by design or by happenstance, it does not matter. What – matters – is what occurs to the human mind under these conditions. This is a field of study that has been very well defined both as an empiric and applicative tool. As some one that has intimate experience from both sides of its utilage and can supply a massive amount of corroborating evidence to the table, not to bandy on about freewill, freedom to choose.

            For someone that took mind altering drugs and committed themselves to unlocking – understanding a tomb (full of conflicting perspective), for years at end, that puts you in these stress positions, you must be aware of this state and the conditioning aspect of it. Whether self administered or by others.

            Skippy… Look about you beardo… the MSM, two party system now becoming one, where it matters most, increasing absurdness – unsureness of the future (with all the knowledge we have to make it other wise), for profit psychology aimed at everyone, the consolidation of power by a very small percent of the population, the quickening of human consumerist desire, the inability of humans to act out side a very defined set of boundary’s, the blending of government and capital power….

            Shock Doctrine is an apt description… your tomb has… in the past and is now, one of the tools in the toolbox… too soften up the mind, too plow the field, too sow the seeds.

            PS. The movie “the book of eli” is a good popular narrative of its capacity… methinks. Its just a tool, it depends on whom uses it and to what ends… Whom and what propose does it serve? The slave or the master? History is not kind in this regard.

          19. F. Beard

            Its just a tool, it depends on whom uses it and to what ends… skippy

            Of the rich and powerful? Then explain this (and it’s not an isolated text, the Bible often castigates the rich and powerful):

            Thus says the Lord, “Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and there speak this word and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, who sits on David’s throne, you and your servants and your people who enter these gates. Thus says the Lord, “ Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place. For if you men will indeed perform this thing, then kings will enter the gates of this house, sitting in David’s place on his throne, riding in chariots and on horses, even the king himself and his servants and his people. But if you will not obey these words, I swear by Myself,” declares the Lord, “that this house will become a desolation.”’” Jeremiah 22:1-5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

            Or is it just a book to promote the Hebrew race? That fails as an hypothesis too.

          20. skippy

            History vs your offering… history makes another case.

            It is a compilation of story’s, spread across a vast amount of time and handled by many through out antiquity. On an individual level, some people treat others well, some do not, yet both will lay claim the same rights this tomb proffers. As a hole, well there’s that sovereign thing again, what can I say, it happened.

            Sadly I’m not a creator, just a singular human amongst billions, yet my thoughts are about others and those I help, into where I will not pass. As a defective, my only thoughts are about my acts and how they affect others, will any of it improve the time I will not see, if not today?

            Skippy… Maybe that’s a common ground we could Occupy, you forgive me and so shall myself, then we reciprocate along those lines. No need for counter party’s to that contract, expand ie myself does not need a creator, just you and all the other humans. Too know we are one, then move forward, what say you to my humble hand?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think you are talking about the Murphy space aliens.

          Everyone in their home planet is called Murphy.

  2. link

    The $5 doctor:

    To residents of Rushville, Illinois, Dr Russell Dohner is a real-life folk hero. The 87-year-old physician has been caring for locals for 57 years.

    But it is the price of a visit that patients find remarkable. Dr Dohner charges just $5 for a check-up – the same rate he’s charged for the past three decades.

    The BBC visited Dr Dohner to meet the real face of affordable healthcare.

  3. Dan B

    Re the Econospeak post “George Will makes fool of self:” Economspeak writes, “we should recognize that LtG (limits to growth) was seriously flawed, [Julian Simon claimed]… the model simply ignored the sorts of microeconomic adjustments that can occur for individual resources, such as mercury (demand for which has fallen 98% since 1972).”

    In the real world of empirical science –not economic faith that substitute natural resources are limitless- we have this from a recent conference on the 40 year anniversary of the publication of The Limits to Growth: “Recent research supports the conclusions of a controversial environmental study released 40 years ago: The world is on track for disaster.”


    Re: Wall Street Sets the Rules for Regulators

    Clearly, everything is for sale in Government and The Street. Except Katya Grishakova and Elizabeth Friedrich. I respect these two more than ANY OF THOSE GOVERNMENT WALL STREET DOPES.

    “Katya Grishakova left the financial industry after spending more than a decade at various Wall Street firms. Elizabeth Friedrich works at a nonprofit financial intermediary in New York. They are both with the protest movement Occupy Wall Street.”

    1. Carla

      When American Banker publishes a story called “Wall Street Sets the Rules for Regulators” written by two members of Occupy Wall Street, it sure looks like the industry is begging for regulation to head off the real solution: the total re-making of the monetary system and the banking cartel.

      Down with Debt-based money!

      1. DANNYBOY

        slight revision: The Industry is looking to create the ILLUSION that they want additional regulation. Also, it’s the Illusion of regulation that is in place, that they are trying to create the Illusion…


    Re: Sad But True: Corporate Crime Does Pay

    Let me simplify :

    If you’re gonna do the Crime, then you gots to do the Time”

    Am I missing something?

    1. Bev

      Obama must pardon Don Siegelman (since he did not commit a crime)

      Siegelman backers seek pardon for ex-Ala governor
      Associated Press


      Don Siegelman calls this petition his “last hope”

      Please don’t just sign this, but send it far and wide, and post it in as many places as you can.



      Thank You.

      1. Bev

        August 20, 2012

        Child Rapist Jerry Sandusky Received a Favorable Court Ruling That Was Denied to Don Siegelman

        Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was granted a motion that forced prosecutors to provide specifics about charges in his child sexual abuse case. The defendants in the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman were denied a similar motion on charges of public corruption.

        What does that mean? One judge found that Sandusky was entitled to specifics about charges that essentially alleged he was a serial child rapist. Another judge found that Siegelman and codefendant Richard Scrushy were not entitled to specifics about charges that essentially sought to criminalize a standard political transaction.

        Does that sound fair to you? Is that what passes for justice in American courts?

        The legal document in question is called a motion for a bill of particulars. That one was granted for Sandusky, while one was denied for Siegelman and Scrushy, should raise profound questions in the minds of all thinking citizens. After all, Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of sexual abuse involving 10 boys. Defendants in the Siegelman case were convicted primarily of federal funds bribery, a charge involving law that is so murky federal judges cannot even agree on proper jury instructions for it.

        That Siegelman and Scrushy were denied a bill of particulars might be the single most glaring sign that U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller handled the case in a crooked fashion. If the prosecution had been forced to provide a bill of particulars, it probably would have shown that the alleged “crimes” took place in summer 1999, while the indictment came in May 2005–meaning the case should have been barred by the five-year statute of limitations.

        What is a bill of particulars, and why does it matter? A paper called “Pretrial Proceedings and Motions,” written by two federal public defenders and presented in March 2012, provides the answers. Rule 7(f) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure governs a bill of particulars in U.S. courts. The Sandusky case was tried in Pennsylvania Common Pleas Court, but most state courts have a provision for a bill of particulars. In some jurisdictions, including Alabama, it’s called a motion for a more definite statement.

        From page 10 of the “Pretrial Proceedings” paper:

        The purpose of a bill of particulars is to inform the defendant of the nature of the charge to enable him to prepare a defense and to minimize the danger of surprise at trial. United States v. Diecidue, 603 F.2d 535, 563 (5th Cir. 1979), cert. denied, 445 U.S. 946 (1980). A bill of particulars may be useful in detailing a vague indictment, but it cannot save a fatal indictment. Russell v. United States, 369 U.S. 749, 769 (1962). A request for a bill of particulars is to be liberally construed, 1 C. Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure: Criminal § 129 (2d Ed. 1982), but the decision whether to grant the bill is committed to the trial court’s discretion. United States v. Martino, 648 F.2d 367 (5th Cir. 1981).

        A bill of particulars is designed primarily to keep the government from getting away with a vague indictment. And let’s consider the two provisions in bold above: (1) The decision to grant or deny a request for a bill of particulars rests with a trial court’s discretion; (2) Such a request is to be construed liberally.

        Translation: A call that is remotely close should go in favor of the defendants. And that means Fuller probably had no lawful grounds for denying a bill of particulars in the Siegelman case. That becomes even more likely when you consider the usual grounds for seeking a bill of particulars. From page 10 of the “Pretrial Proceedings” paper:

        Typical requests include:

        1. Identity of co-conspirators . . .

        2. Overt acts in furtherance of the conspiracy . . .

        3. Dates . . .

        4. Location . . .

        5. Identity of the victims.


        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          What’s a “bill of particulars” in light of NDAA FRAME? All treason, all the time.


    Re: The three Ds of finance and the race to the bottom

    I’ll just comment on this small quote: “democratic defences have by and large been entirely overrun by the (frequently criminal) financial sector. This is, once again, the politicians’ common fear which in the U.S. goes like this: ‘don’t regulate us too much or the business will all flow to London.’ ”

    Unless you begin to understand that the ‘frequently criminal financial sector’ has been joined with the FREQUENTLY CRIMINAL GOVERNMENT SECTOR, your assumptions lead to too many words.

      1. DANNYBOY

        The Illusion that Government and Wall Street are separate operations is false. That veil has been pierced. Membership in one always leads to ‘service’ in the other. The was a time when they were separate organizations. At that time Government was the ‘Muscle’ organization for Wall Street. Enforcing Wall Street’s contracts, extracting payments.

        You know, something like extortion.

        I’ve been extorted plenty, haven’t you?

        1. DANNYBOY


          As to the specifics of The City and The Street.

          I’ll act all academic and suggest you refer to Econned, by Mistress Yves. She perfectly captures the Americanization of Global Investment Banks.

          Spent 30 years on Wall Street. Don’t miss it, every day.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            DB, It’s a MASQUERADE all the time: only the roles/costumes/sets/directors change, for one reason or another. The Producers: .01%DNA in perpetuity.

  7. René

    Planetary Crossroads! Where Do We Want to Go?

    “Back in January 2011, historian Webster Tarpley put a big hole in the well-crafted mythos of WikiLeaks, writing, “Assange’s various document dumps tell us nothing of importance about 9/11, the Rabin assassination, Iran-contra, the 1999 bombing of Serbia, the Kursk incident, the various CIA color revolutions, or many of the other truly big covert operations of the past decades.” Also, read Tarpley’s article, “Wikileaks helps West to justify attack on Syria,” that was written last month.”

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Rene, it’s clear that Wikileaks was a trial balloon. Let’s see what happens to Julian Assange.

  8. Bev

    About Public Education beyond even the privatization attempts of funding charter schools with public money…

    What’s happening at NYU is happening all over academia

    How the American University Was Killed, in Five Easy Steps
    Posted: August 16, 2012 | Author: Teri Yamada

    A few years back, Paul E. Lingenfelter began his report on the defunding of public education by saying, “In 1920 H.G. Wells wrote, ‘History is becoming more and more a race between education and catastrophe.’ I think he got it right. Nothing is more important to the future of the United States and the world than the breadth and effectiveness of education, especially of higher education. I say especially higher education, but not because pre- school, elementary, and secondary education are less important. Success at every level of education obviously depends on what has gone before. But for better or worse, the quality of postsecondary education and research affects the quality and effectiveness of education at every level.”

    In the last few years, conversations have been growing like gathering storm clouds about the ways in which our universities are failing. There is talk about the poor educational outcomes apparent in our graduates, the out-of-control tuitions and crippling student loan debt. Attention is finally being paid to the enormous salaries for presidents and sports coaches, and the migrant worker status of the low-wage majority faculty. There are now movements to control tuition, to forgive student debt, to create more powerful “assessment” tools, to offer “free” university materials online, to combat adjunct faculty exploitation. But each of these movements focuses on a narrow aspect of a much wider problem, and no amount of “fix” for these aspects individually will address the real reason that universities in America are dying.

    To explain my perspective here, I need to go back in time. Let’s go back to post World War II, 1950s when the GI bill, and the affordability – and sometimes free access – to universities created an upsurge of college students across the country. This surge continued through the ’60s, when universities were the very heart of intense public discourse, passionate learning, and vocal citizen involvement in the issues of the times. It was during this time, too, when colleges had a thriving professoriate, and when students were given access to a variety of subject areas, and the possibility of broad learning. The Liberal Arts stood at the center of a college education, and students were exposed to philosophy, anthropology, literature, history, sociology, world religions, foreign languages and cultures. Of course, something else happened, beginning in the late fifties into the sixties — the uprisings and growing numbers of citizens taking part in popular dissent — against the Vietnam War, against racism, against destruction of the environment in a growing corporatized culture, against misogyny, against homophobia. Where did much of that revolt incubate? Where did large numbers of well-educated, intellectual, and vocal people congregate? On college campuses. Who didn’t like the outcome of the 60s? The corporations, the war-mongers, those in our society who would keep us divided based on our race …

    Read more.


    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Bev, the Totalitarian Ultraconservative (Anglo-American/Holy Roman) Military Industrial CAPTURE of “Higher Education” in America began in the 1970’s, with the Global Neoconlib Monopoly Finance PUTSCH emanating from Rockefeller’s University of Chicago, in conjunction with the Tavistock Agenda in America, to impose Global Fourth Reich Tyrannical Rule in America and the world entire.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        The seeds for the above were doubtless planted here:

        The Smith Act trials of Communist Party leaders were a series of trials held from 1949 to 1958 in which leaders of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) were accused of violating the Smith Act, a 1940 statute that set penalties for advocating the violent overthrow of the government. The prosecution argued that the CPUSA’s policies promoted violent revolution; the defendants countered that they advocated a peaceful transition to socialism, and that the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech and association protected their membership in a political party. The first trial in 1949 prosecuted the top leaders of the party and was featured in the national headlines. After a ten-month trial, all defendants were found guilty and sentenced to five-year prison terms. The judge also sent all five defense attorneys to jail for contempt of court. Prosecutors then tried over 100 additional CPUSA officers for violating the Smith Act. Some were tried solely because they were members of the CPUSA. Many defendants had difficulty finding attorneys to represent them. Prosecutions came to an end following the US Supreme Court’s 1957 Yates v. United States decision, which held that defendants could be prosecuted only for their actions, not for their beliefs. Membership in the CPUSA plummeted due to the trials, and never recovered. (more…)

        The above is Wikipedia entry of the day: Monday, August 20, 2012

        This has flowered into the “America, FUCK YEAH!” AynRandCapitalism Movement ({‘Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal” by Rand and Greenspan).

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          “Although God Save the Tsar! was the Russian national anthem in Tchaikovsky’s time, it was not the anthem in 1812. There was no official Russian anthem until 1815, from which time until 1833 the anthem was Molitva russkikh, Prayer of the Russians, sung to the tune of God Save the King.[11]”

          The above from Wikipedia: 1812 Overture, mentioned today at Wiki homepage.

          “God Save the King” became the tune of Russian National Anthem in 1815.
          What does this imply?

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Connect political dots in music: “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” — still sung in America, is set to the tune of “God Save the King.” What does this imply?

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Bev, in your link (the five steps), emphasis on the Powell Memorandum was the death knell, but my comments below flesh out the argument of the blog you link to. Also missing from that “five steps” argument is a VITALLY important step: recent Ph.D.’s (1970-1975, grounded in the liberal academic tradition) NEVER would be hired or NEVER would be given tenure. This was the era of the “displaced Ph.D.” for “demographic reasons” and it became known that Physics Ph.D.’s had to drive cabs to make a living. Really, this was a crime against a whole generation of extremely well-qualified Ph.D.’s.

      Starting with the 1970’s, Higher Education went downhill until it hit the skids of mandatory Ultraconservative Deep State economics and propaganda. Powell and the Neocons “busted” liberal Academia, and it led to the END of Solvent America, to the S&P Scandal, Enron, and TARP 2008, as well as to the takeover of our educational system at every level by Ultraconservative propagandists and private profiteers.

  9. petridish

    RE: Lambert’s “South FL is the (Medicare) Fraud Capital of the Nation”

    Lest we forget, HCA settled what became the largest Medicare fraud case without admitting wrongdoing when Rick Scott was the company’s CEO. Where is Rick Scott now? Why he currently resides in the FL governor’s mansion.

    Rick Scott’s Medicare fraud became the largest when it replaced the previous HCA fraud which settled while Bill Frist was majority leader in the US Senate. HCA was a Frist family company after all, but I’m certain he knew nothing about it at the time–his shares were held in a “blind” trust. Where is Bill Frist now? Why on the HCA Board of Directors, of course.

    You don’t even need a computer to identify this pattern. You could do it with a slide rule.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      petridish, but hey, how ya gonna keep your “anti-Commmunist” constituency in Miami and Lakeland happy? How ya gonna keep Tampa sacrosanct?

    2. Lambert Strether

      I’m pleased with the idea that while decrying government fraud, Scott and his ilk are busy defrauding the government.

      It has the elegant symmetry that only the complete lack of shame and remorse can bring.

      And if at some future point the government is completely sucked dry, well, “I’ll be gone, you’ll be gone” and in any case, “drown government in a bath tub.”

  10. Garrett Pace

    Anti-suicide nasal spray

    “But the naturally occurring neurochemical thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) could slow the rising suicide rate. The chemical has a euphoric, calming, antidepressant effect. TRH has been shown to decrease suicidal ideas, depression and bipolar disorders.”

    I’m always amazed at this wonderful idea that sadness or depression is always irrational and just needs to be treated with drugs. Usually people are sad for a reason, but since our value as individuals is measured by our our effectiveness in a giant economic machine, the answer is to bliss out and get back into action. Problem solved!

      1. Garrett Pace

        From our military’s perspective, one of the advantages of robots is they don’t get sad or question orders. The people who put them into action can develop a psychological barrier between themselves and the killing that is done by robots. Then no one is sad!

        ..except the people whose families get blown up, of course…

          1. Jim Haygood

            Actual tagline from a military recruitment ad on TV yesterday:

            The NAVY — a global force for Good.

            Too bad their host countries don’t see it that way. Ask an Okinawan.

    1. Tiresias

      “I’m always amazed at this wonderful idea that sadness or depression is always irrational and just needs to be treated with drugs. Usually people are sad for a reason..”

      A common pontification from the ignorant. As someone who has suffered clinical depression for 40-years I can assure you that depression has nothing to do with ‘justifiable sadness’.

      1. aet

        “I’m always amazed at this wonderful idea that sadness or depression is always irrational and just needs to be treated with drugs.”

        Uh….”this wonderful (sic) idea” , as you state it, is clearly composed of at least two ideas.

        Sadness isn’t depression – they are two very different things, as the commenter above quite correctly points out – and, even were that not so, whether or not such is considered “irrational” is an idea conceptually separate from the idea that any such condition “needs to be treated with drugs”.

        And you are of course aware that the phrase, “can be treated with drugs” does NOT mean “needs to be treated by drugs” – that these phrases each communicate a clearly different idea.

        The process of ideation itself , speaking generally, can perhaps be said to be “wonderful”: but ideas, themselves, are either good or bad, right or wrong.

        That is to say, that ideas themselves are never called “wonderful” – unless the writer is building a straw man, and attempting a cheap sarcastic trope. And on reflection, I suppose propagandists would also proclaim certain ideas as being “wonderful”.

        All the more reason to distrust ANYONE who EVER states that any IDEA (as contrasted to any thing – I trust that the difference between the two is clear! ) whatsoever IS “wonderful”….they’re either being shifty, and are thus worthy of mis-trust; or they are saying foolish things, and are thus worthy of being ignored.

      2. enouf

        hrm .. not sure who i want to reply to here …

        Let’s see;

        The idea that sadness or depression ‘is’ or ‘can be’ irrational is a bit too far off the mark of the gist of above comments for right now. I think aet already reasonably addressed that concern. ..and as aet correctly points out, just a few well placed words, in proper order, can invoke all sorts of inferences — albeit from misconceived (pre)conceptions or otherwise.

        That said;

        Depression is (basically) Anger: Anger that is expressed/directed “inwardly”. I know from experience, empirical evidence and otherwise.

        As far as attempting to “treat” these ‘symptoms’ (or any ‘clinical’ diagnosis) with psychotropics (as a 1st, or even as a latter response) is one of the most absurd notions.[1] Absurd also, (as the information in the footnote attests to) because the answer is always profit driven. That alone should raise ones tired red-flags (tired, due to the incessant malaise from fending off 40 yrs of propaganda). Let’s face the facts shall we? Pharmaceutical usage (Psychotropics, BigPharma, Bio-{genetics,engineering} in particular) are but just a few legs of the 1000-legged stool-sample of what we’ve allowed our society to become, …that, which requires a good flush and a bowl scrubbing.

        Heck, I’d even go so far as to say that the relentless onslaught of propaganda (from fear-mongering, to consumerism, to wars on Tewwa!, and Drugs! and ..)), and knowing full well in one’s heart how evil, self-serving, and malicious it all is, (and how most others around us suckle it all up) proportionately causes ..or ‘exacerbates’ the “symptoms”.

        We, as a society, are truly sick alright — attempts to “treat” otherwise non-compliant, disobedient, abi-normal culturally-biased and propaganda-driven falacies of “disorder” — through manipulation of blood-brain barrier breaking, chemically-engineered neuro-{transmitters,receptors} fused with well-funded-ulterior-motivated-profit-driven Ph.d psychobabble, are just making minced-meat out of our collective frontal lobe.


        p.s. As a follow-up, What about self-medicating eh? hrm .. oh yeah, that little thing called War on Drugs tends to hinder that a bit, eh? Gee, i wonder why? ..hrmm

        p.s.s. As another pointed out here, many, or most Artists/Musicians of all shapes and sizes require their art/music to maintain their sanity, in an otherwise dysfunctional world. (Note: inside each and every one of us, is the ability to create art/music.)

        [1] I’ve shared this before here, but it bears repeating;
        read “Anatomy of an Epidemic” by Robert Whitaker — there’s a nice hour and a half talk (about the book) by the Author at One might also want to seek out the works/ideas of Gabor Maté for further study.

  11. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Why is it that “The BBC will always be with us” — even if no longer from the “Bush” building in “Great Britain?”

    Are We the People of the land “from sea to shining sea” called “America,” within the New World continent of North America–to which our ancestors came and fought for political, economic, and religious autonomy–are We now subjects of the Glucksburg Dynasts now occupying the “throne” of England, or not?

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      We the People NEED TO KNOW, because the above is an Absolute Monarchy:

      See in Wikipedia: The Treason Felony Act of 1848 [effectively renewed 1998]:

      The Treason Felony Act 1848 (11 & 12 Vict. c. 12) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Act is still in force. It is a law which protects HM the Queen and the Crown.

      The offences in the Act were originally high treason under the Sedition Act 1661 (later the Treason Act 1795), and consequently the penalty was death. However it was found that juries were often reluctant to convict people of capital crimes, and it was thought that the conviction rate might increase if the sentence was reduced to exile to the penal colonies in Australia (the penalty today is life imprisonment). Consequently in 1848 three categories of treason (all derived from the 1795 Act) were reduced to felonies. (This occurred during a period when the death penalty in the United Kingdom was being abolished for a great many offences.) The Act does not prevent prosecutors from charging somebody with treason instead of treason felony if the same conduct amounts to both offences.[2]

      It is treason felony to “compass, imagine, invent, devise, or intend”:
      to deprive the Queen of her crown, to levy war against the Queen, or
      to “move or stir” any foreigner to invade the United Kingdom or any other country belonging to the Queen.

      In 2001, The Guardian newspaper mounted an unsuccessful legal challenge to the Act in the High Court, alleging that the act “…makes it a criminal offence, punishable by life imprisonment, to advocate abolition of the monarchy in print, even by peaceful means…”[3] They sought a declaration that the Human Rights Act 1998 had altered its meaning so that only violent conduct was criminal. The court held that this was a hypothetical question that did not deserve an answer, since they were not being prosecuted. The case eventually went to the House of Lords on appeal in 2003. In a unanimous judgement the House agreed that the litigation was unnecessary, but most of the judges nevertheless agreed with (and none disagreed with) Lord Steyn’s view that “the part of section 3 of the 1848 Act which appears to criminalise the advocacy of republicanism is a relic of a bygone age and does not fit into the fabric of our modern legal system. The idea that section 3 could survive scrutiny under the Human Rights Act is unreal.”

      The last reported case under the Act in the United Kingdom was in 1883, although the Act was used in Australia in 1916 to prosecute the “Sydney Twelve”.

      We the People of America NEED TO KNOW the answer to my question STAT! so we can adjust our demeanor accordingly.

      BUT FIRST, I must ask, in light of the FRAME of revelations in “TRIALS OF THE DIASPORA: A History of Anti-Semitism in England” by Anthony Julius (OXFORD, 2012):

      Is the Rockefeller Court Jester, our own Premier Kissoff, “FINE WITH THAT?” Are the Rockefeller Court Jesters at the University of Chicago “FINE WITH THAT? I mean, are THEY and their profiteering friends “FINE WITH THAT?”

      NO NATION of PEOPLE, EXCEPT AMERICA and We the People of America, has WELCOMED “THE JEWS” of the Diaspora with OPEN HEART AND MIND. Not even the “State of Israel” has done this.

      WHEN will “American Jews” (“Jewish Americans”) WAKE UP? WHEN will we clearly DISTINGUISH friend from foe? Do We REALLY believe that “Christian Zionists” or any other “Zionists” are FRIENDS OF “THE JEWS” in the Diaspora?

      WILL WE really embrace the Next Holocaust? DON’T let it happen again! See:
      “THE SORROW AND THE PITY: A History of the Jews in Germany, 1743-1933” by AMOS ELON–who DEPARTED from the “State of Israel” in disgust.

      Can WE LEARN from the words and deeds of Amos Elon? WILL WE? In time?

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        And don’t forget that old standby, that CLASSIC TOME of clear thinking/clear writing:

        “THE SECRET WAR AGAINST THE JEWS: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People” by John Loftus and Mark Aarons.

        This is bed rock.

      2. Susan the other

        I did not know that Amos Elon who wrote the Sorrow and the Pity departed Israel in disgust. It fits his view. I’m sorry and I am pleased.

  12. barrisj

    I inadvertently saw a video clip of a Romney-Ryan campaign “rally” in NH…well, I’d say they got the white vote all wrapped up.
    BTW, MO US Senate candidate and Tea Party fav Rep. Todd Akin is walking back his “pregnancy and legitimate rape” remarks. It seems as though Akin received a quick primer on reproductive physiology overnight and decided that, well, perhaps women can’t just “shut down that thing” after being raped…”that thing” presumably being ovum fertilisation. If he loses the MO Senate race, presumably he has a standing offer to join the Texas Schoolbook Commission as a consultant on biology textbooks.

    1. ScottS

      To “shut that thing down” is when the victim sends a discretely-worded letter to the stork dispatch center in Heaven, and the stork instead delivers the baby to Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, where the baby will grow up playing with toys or eating Cadbury cream eggs, respectively. Once that baby has grown up, having no idea how regular people live, it will leave the North Pole or the Easter Bunny’s house and run for office.

      And that’s where politicians come from.

  13. Susan the other

    Bloomberg on the EU bailout – Just commenting on what I see as the obvious: About the well timed ECB leak that they are considering interest rate caps on bonds in order to bail out their banks. Interesting this comes about one month after LIBOR was exposed and there was lots of discussion about how the Fed and other central banks have an obligation to “adjust” interest rates. The EU still considers low interest rates a form of monetization of debt. So the ECB is going to confer on this issue in September, just after the German Constitutional Court rules on bond buying. Angela backs Draghi on the grounds that this is ultimately important in order to protect the Euro. A subtle reminder that if this isn’t done the EZ will begin to disintegrate. So probably it will happen – the cap on interest rates and new ECB bonds. I find it hard to think through this with any coherence because I envision a huge bailout of the various banks, with stipulations, but who is to say that this isn’t just another financial miscarriage where the money goes to the banks and back to the ECB which has ostensibly bailed out the bad debt with new debt … and we know the outcome well. It’s ‘feed me Seymour’ for the banks, making the Euro competitive even, but the EZ economies will continue to starve, albeit at a slower pace. No enlightened thinking here.

    1. Jim

      Susan the other, so what’s your recommendation?

      IMHO, those who support the ill-constructed, democracy-lacking, fatally flawed, EZ, have no choice but to support Merkel’s move, as it’s the first move toward a US of Europe.

      I believe that Merkel should ignore the EZ bond market, that the ECB should abide by its legal commitment to the German voter to not monetize debt, and to allow the markets to dictate the fate of the EZ. In the long-run, this will lead to a prosperous southern Europe, with each country dictating its own monetary policy.

      But that’s just me.

  14. F. Beard

    Finding the aliens may be a long shot, but knowing that we share the galaxy with other sentience would change humanity’s outlook forever. We would know that what’s transpired on this planet—the emergence of life and intelligence—is something that happens often. The philosophical import of this could be compared to the Copernican revolution.

    But the continuing silence from outer space is making the opposite point – that intelligence in the Universe is rare; that we may be UNIQUE!

    By all means, SETI should be funded generously. Who’s afraid of the truth?

    1. Susan the other

      Not me. But I do think we are on the wrong frequency, unless the universe is bigger than we have estimated. Maybe we should try an ultra, ultra low frequency. Do electro-mag waves get longer over distance and time?

      1. F. Beard

        Do electro-mag waves get longer over distance and time? StO

        Since the Universe is accelerating its expansion, yes to both.

        But I’m sure the scientists working on SETI know that.

        1. Susan the other

          If ultra low frequency is used as a weapon that’s not good. But doesn’t this mean that it is also high frequency – so it’s not low frequency. Confused. If it is used for peaceful purposes, is that a problem?

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Susan t o, Get ready: I believe that the UUL-F “weapon” (yes, already in the U.S. arsenal, just in case) virtually “melts” – causes to decompose – the internal organs.

            As “jesus” is quoted in The Gospel of Mary Magdalene:

            “All that is composed shall decompose.” As true today as it ever was.

            “THE GOSPEL OF MARY MAGDALENE” Translation from the Coptic by Jean Yves Leloup – English Translation and Notes by Joseph Rowe; with Foreword by Jacob Needleman (Inner Traditions, 2002). — HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A little patience can be helpful.

      And even if we make contact, there is always the possibility that they descend from ancient Earth escapees and we are still UNIQUE.

      I think that might help.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          They would be the ‘I came, I saw and I left’ space aliens.

          Nothing to see in this piece of rock. Let’s move along.

          There is another possibility, out of many, why we are not unique. All them space aliens died in the last inter- galactic war… Universe War XIII. We are not truly unique, only unique because we have been condemned to the backwater planet for something and were left out of the war.

          That’s my guess. I hope it is not already in some sic fi.

    3. Jim

      Perhaps the answer is embedded in our DNA, and when man cracks a certain code, the answer will be obvious.

  15. Peter Pinguid Society

    Here at the Peter Pinguid Society we’ve never found a reporter in the US media or any US academic who cannot be bought off. What we have found is an almost unbearable level of stupidity and conformity among academics and members of the US media, with all of them competing with each other to see who can sell out first.

    In order to break the monotony, we usually set our stopwatches and time how long it takes for a particular reporter or academic to sell out. And so, for example, it took 3 seconds to buy Andrew Ross Sorkin along with all the “talent” at CNBC, 4.2 seconds to buy Roger Lowenstein, 5 seconds to buy Ezra Klein, 6 seconds to buy all of the “talent” at the NY Times, 7 seconds to buy Adam Davidson, Robert Siegel and all the “talent” at NPR, and so forth…

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

    1. kevinearick

      the system cannot be primed from the top. the empire is the ground. the more desperate they become to control talent, the farther behind they get. would you enter into a contract with the Fed under any condition?

      1. carping demon

        The pump don’t work ’cause the vandals took the handle. On another note, it’s not that we can’t end poverty, it’s that we won’t.

  16. Susan the other

    One more comment. On Big Think – Machine Translations. My favorite to date is for Peter the Great. Peter the Big One. Here’s the thing – language probably became the greatest human technology because language evolves. It is organic. Machines are dumb as stumps. And beyond the delightful capacity of language to evolve it also has a mysterious instantaneous capacity to capture thinking. Expecially mind-boggling when you understand that nobody knows where thoughts come from. Language works simultaneously with the desire to communicate! Can machines ever do that?

    1. F. Beard

      If we ever create true AI it will likely have problems, just as humans do (“confirmation”: Steven Spielberg’s “AI”).

      But worse, we were created by a vastly more intelligent Creator than ourselves. How likely are we to do a better job than He?

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        FB, “Stephen Spielberg’s AI” – a DERIVATIVE of Stanley Kubricks’s “AI.”

          1. Susan the other

            the No Cloning Theory is consistent (?) since nobody knows where the particle making the wave will land and become reality.. don’t get the math at all… but interesting and totally over my head…

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        We were created by a vastly more intelligent Creator….

        When a parent says to his kid, I created you, it’s really the Creator. The kid was created by the Creator.

        When a scientist says to his AI, I created you, it’s, again, the Creator.

        If that’s the case, it’s possible for the AI job to be a better job.

        1. F. Beard

          A parent is under no illusion that he/she is the Creator whereas a scientist may need to be taught a lesson in humility.

          1. F. Beard

            Humility (teach-ability) is one thing; denying that truth exists is another. If one searches for truth with all his/her heart, he/she is guaranteed to find it. I suppose if one searches with 50% of his/her heart then the odds drop correspondingly. But what if one does not even think truth exists?

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            When one seeks, one is likely to find.

            The lack of humility comes less from not trying hard enough in one particular area but more from overlooking some areas. Since there are so many areas, no one is exempt.

  17. LeonovaBalletRusse

    YVES, please explain, using Standard Accounting Practice, the FINANCIAL lines of demarcation between the FUNDS of the SSA and NOAA, and:
    the CIA, JSOC, and the Department of Defense:
    so as to JUSTIFY the use of FUNDS BUDGETED to the SSA and NOAA for the PURCHASE of “hollow point bullets” — as per the facts presented in a ZH courtesy post from “George Washington” today. Selected quotations follow:

    “Major General: Why Are Domestic Government Agencies Purchashing Enough Lethal Ammunition to Put 5 Rounds In Every American?
    Submitted by George Washington on 08/20/2012 11:40 -0400”

    “Retired Major General Jerry Curry wrote Friday:

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) confirms that it is purchasing 174 thousand rounds of hollow point bullets to be delivered to 41 locations in major cities across the U.S.

    Those against whom the hollow point bullets are to be used — those causing the civil unrest — must be American citizens; since the SSA has never been used overseas to help foreign countries maintain control of their citizens.

    What would be the target of these 174, 000 rounds of hollow point bullets? It can’t simply be to control demonstrators or rioters. Hollow point bullets are so lethal that the Geneva Convention does not allow their use on the battle field in time of war. Hollow point bullets don’t just stop or hurt people, they penetrate the body, spread out, fragment and cause maximum damage to the body’s organs. Death often follows.

    Potentially each hollow nose bullet represents a dead American. If so, why would the U.S. government want the SSA to kill 174,000 of our citizens, even during a time of civil unrest?

    If this were only a one time order of ammunition, it could easily be dismissed. But there is a pattern here. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has ordered 46,000 rounds of hollow point ammunition. Notice that all of these purchases are for the lethal hollow nose bullets. These bullets are not being purchased and stored for squirrel or coyote hunting. This is serious ammunition manufactured to be used for serious purposes.
    The Federal Reserve – which is not exactly federal (and see this)- also has its own police force. See this and this.

    Chalmers Johnson called the CIA the President’s private army.

    But that’s nothing compared to JSOC. As John Glaser wrote in February:

    For the past decade, we’ve seen the rise of a secret, unaccountable U.S. military force … Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) is an unwieldy private army at the command of the President, and him only. And they conduct military and spy missions all over the world, never receiving formal congressional approval ….
    As such, Major General Curry’s speculation is chilling, indeed:

    Is the purpose [of the lethal ammunition purchases] to kill 174,000 of the nation’s military and replace them with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) special security forces, forces loyal to the Administration, not to the Constitution?

    YVES, how can they LEGALLY use SSA and NOAA BUDGETED FUNDS to purchase any number of “hollow point bullets?” What conceivable justification is their for this MISALLOCATION OF FUNDS? WHO has given the order for the misallocatlion of funds to take place and for what purpose?

    Finally, is this a MISALLOCATION, or an EMBEZZLEMENT, of FUNDS?

    1. formal demos

      JSOC? Extralegal from inception? So what? FBI has no legal authorization either, and it hasn’t ever stopped their totalitarian hinjinx.

      Welcome to fake democracy.

  18. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Michael Ruppert told us How It Works: Illegal drug money provides the “cash” to Big Banks “necessary” to keep them and the .01% Nobles in clover.

    1) We see now that it’s just more “Extraction Capitalism” — the “producing countries” — make that “producing peasants” get nada. So it’s just more “business as usual.”

    2) There seems to be a “cure” — just let addicts put their habits on plastic! Better yet, is there an app for that? Is Fookbook set up for that? I mean, they are getting set up for the “Gaming/gambling TRADE,” so why not go “Manufacturers direct” and “Eliminate the Middleman?”

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Does this explain the drive to “legalize ALL drugs?” So that the “cashless society” known by Aaron Russo to be in the black heart of the Rockefeller Dynasty can proceed fully fledged, including the “FREE TRADE” of drugs–such as the POPPY beloved of the British Empire protected by Bush Blood Soil?

      1. Jim

        You’ll never have a cashless society because you will always have war.

        And wars are often messy. So messy that certain “engagements” are “off the books”, financed via pallets of untraceable cash.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Follow the DrugMoney and DNAMoney: Salinas/City/Bush/Clinton, YALE:

      From Golem XIV link above, the name: “Salinas” of Mexico, Citi, YALE:

      “When it was found that Citi had been laundering Mexican drug money, it also revealed how the brother of the then President Salinas, had a private banking agreement with Citi. When the shit hit the fan that banker, Amy Elliot, told her colleagues,

      …this goes in the very, very top of the corporation, this was known…on the very top. We are little pawns in this whole thing”

      What did Citi do for Salinas? According to the official US government report into the ‘affair’,

      Mr. Salinas was able to transfer $90 million to $100 million between 1992 and 1994 by using a private banking relationship formed by Citibank New York in 1992.

      The funds were transferred through Citibank Mexico and Citibank New York to private banking investment accounts in Citibank London and Citibank Switzerland. Beginning in mid-1992, Citibank actions assisted Mr. Salinas with these transfers and effectively disguised the funds’ source and destination, thus breaking the funds’ paper trail. Citibank.

      More specifically Citi,

      • set up an offshore private investment company named Trocca, to hold Mr. Salinas’s assets, through Cititrust (Cayman)9 and investment accounts in Citibank London and Citibank Switzerland;

      • waived bank references for Mr. Salinas and did not prepare a financial profile on him or request a waiver for the profile, as required by then Citibank know your customer policy;

      • facilitated Mrs. Salinas’s use of another name to initiate fund transfers in Mexico; and

      • had funds wired from Citibank Mexico to a Citibank New York concentration account—a business account that commingles funds from various sources—before forwarding them to Trocca’s offshore Citibank investment accounts.

      Wikipedia: Jaime Jose Serra Puche – Salinas, Mexico PRI, NAFTA, SAI, YALE:

      “Jaime José Serra Puche (b. January 11, 1951 in Mexico City) is a Mexican economist. He is Chairman of SAI Consulting and Principal of NAFTA Fund. His professional practice includes the design of investment strategies in Mexico for foreign companies and advice to Mexican companies interested in becoming regional players in North America.

      He served as Mexico’s Undersecretary of Revenue, Secretary of Commerce and Industry in the cabinet of Carlos Salinas de Gortari and for 28 days he served as Secretary of Finance and Public Credit in the cabinet of Ernesto Zedillo. Mr. Serra led the negotiation and implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); promoted the conclusion of the Uruguay Round and the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO); headed the negotiations of free trade agreements with Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia and Costa Rica and promoted the creation of the Federal Competition Commission.

      He was a trustee of the Yale Corporation and currently co-chairs The President’s Council on International Activities of Yale University. He is a member of the Trilateral Commission and The US-Mexico Bilateral Council. He is a director of the following publicly listed companies: Chiquita Brands International (CQB); The Mexico Fund (MXF), Tenaris (TS), Vitro (VTO) and Grupo Modelo (GMODELOC).

      Jaime Serra is the son of Jorge Serra Perayre and Carmen Puche Planes. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, a master’s degree in economics from El Colegio de México and a doctorate’s degree in economics from Yale University.”Jesús Silva Herzog Flores (born on 8 May 1935 in Mexico City) is a Mexican economist and politician affiliated to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).[4] He served as Secretary of Finance and Public Credit in the cabinet of President Miguel de la Madrid (1982–86), as an ambassador to Spain (1991–1994) and as Secretary of Tourism (1994) in the cabinet of Carlos Salinas de Gortari and as an ambassador to the United States (1995–97).[1]”

      Wikipedia: Jesus Silva Herzog Flores – Salinas, Mexico PRI, YALE:

      Silva Herzog is son of the prominent economist Jesús Silva Herzog and Josefina Flores Villarreal.[4] He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM, 1959) and a master’s degree in the same discipline from Yale University (1962).[1]

      Wikipedia: Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon – Mexico PRI, YALE:

      Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León (born December 27, 1951) is a Mexican economist and politician. He served as President of Mexico from December 1, 1994 to November 30, 2000, as the last of the uninterrupted seventy year line of Mexican presidents from the Institutional Revolutionary Party. Since the ending of his term as president in 2000, Zedillo has been a leading voice on globalization, especially its impact on relations between developed and developing nations.
      He is currently Director of the Center for the Study of Globalization at YALE University and director of Citigroup.

      CONNECT: The Opium Wars, Russell Foundation, Skull & Bones, YALE with
      information contained in the link above:

      1. Jim

        I’ll never forget CSG’s hunger strike, staged shortly after he left the presidency. Dow Jones soon dumped him from the BOD.

        It must grate CSG every morning to read about how respected Zedillo is worldwide. CSG is heckled even in Lomas, while Zedillo is praised in liberal enclaves in the US.

      2. LeonovaBalletRusse

        CONNECT [Wikipedia]: Carlos Salinas de Gortari: Mexico PRI, NAFTA

        “Carlos Salinas de Gortari (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkarlos saˈlinaz ðe ɣorˈtaɾi]) (born April 3, 1948) is a Mexican economist and politician affiliated to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) who served as President of Mexico from 1988 to 1994. Earlier in his career he worked in the Budget Secretariat all the way up to Secretary. He was the PRI presidential candidate in 1988, and was elected on July 6, 1988.


        Carlos Salinas’ term made significant changes in the following areas:
        [edit]Economic reforms

        By the end of his term, inflation had been reduced to 7.05% in 1994, the lowest figure in 22 years. Shortly after leaving office, due to the December Mistake, inflation rose to 51.48%.

        During his term, the peso devalued from 2.65 MXP to 3.60 MXN, by November 30, 1994, the last day of his term; thus the peso devalued far less than it had in the two previous terms. (The peso was later devaluated from 4 per dollar to 7.2 in a single week due to the December Mistake.)

        Negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), with the United States and Canada.

        Arguably, Salinas might have privileged him, as many critics point out, in the same way he had privileged Salinas Pliego with the privatization of Imevisión (later TV Azteca) over the rest of the bidders; all those deals were suspected of corruption by the majority of the Mexican population.[citation needed] As a result, the number of state-owned industries continued to drop, from approx. 600 in 1988 to a minimal 250 in 1994.

        [edit]Political reforms

        The 1994 elections were the first to have international observers, and were considered, at that time, the fairest elections in the century,[citation needed] though not free of controversy. He reformed the Clerical Laws which had forbidden religious ministers from voting, and established a new relationship between State and Church, which had been severely damaged after the Cristero War. The new laws also allowed churches to own their own buildings (which had been nationalized).

        As of May 2010, Salinas lives in Dublin, Ireland. More recently he has been spotted back in Mexico supporting the political campaign of the Institutional Revolutionary Party candidate for the 2012 presidential elections, Enrique Peña Nieto, according to Mexican journalists Francisco Cruz Jiménez and Jorge Toribio Montiel.[8][9]

  19. Hugh

    A better story about the Gu Kailai sentence can be found here:

    “In the vast majority of such legal cases, the suspended death sentence is automatically commuted to life if the defendant exhibits good behavior for two years after a guilty verdict. People serving life sentences are also eligible for medical parole after just seven years. According to the Dui Hua Foundation, a U.S.-based nonprofit, which engages in humanitarian works on behalf of Chinese detainees, that means Gu could go free in as little as nine years.”

  20. LeonovaBalletRusse

    CONNECT surnames KOCH with BUSH: Dig deep:

    In 1992, German American Koch married Dorothy Bush, the only living daughter of George H. W. Bush, at a private ceremony held at Camp David—the only couple to ever be married there in the nation’s history. They have two children plus the two children from her first marriage.
    Koch is a Democrat who started his career in politics working for Tony Coelho and was part of his campaign to become House Majority Whip. He would later become staff director for House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt before joining the Wine Institute.[1] Since becoming President and CEO in June 2003, membership has grown 70% to over 1,000 Californian wineries and affiliated businesses which are predominately family owned and operated.
    He has a substantial equity interest in Central European Distribution Corp., the company that manufactures and distributes vodka in Poland.[2]
    Koch is active in raising funds to find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.[3]

    from Wikipedia: Bobby Koch

  21. LeonovaBalletRusse

    MIDWIVES v. The Ultraconservative Republican Roman Catholic Paul Ryan & Co.

    The REAL reason why male doctors, instead of midwives, just HAD to be in charge of women’s reproductive rights from the 19th century is revealed in the book below:

    “THE HORRORS OF THE HALF-KNOWN LIFE: Male Attitudes Toward Women and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century America” by G.J. Barker-Benfield (1976).

    The Ultraconservative “Female Birth Control” Agenda fits the Neoconlib Shock Doctrine (“Gilded Age”) Economic Agenda like “the finger” in a latex glove.


    1. skippy


      The patriarchal origins of the Doctors Guild is DEAD set against midwifery.

      Skippy… one child in private hospital birth (complete cluster fook), next 3 in public hospital with the same midwife… a complete joy!!! From prenatal to delivery! Hay even dad got his hands dirty, spotting mom, cutting the cord, give first bath, soak up the moment and bond.

      PS. assembly line birth… barf!!!

  22. barrisj

    Whoops, looks as though the Repubs are ready to deep-six Senate candidate Todd “Shut that thing down” Akin, despite rabid MO Tea Party/Christian reactionary support…

    Republicans push Akin to quit Senate race over rape comments
    Reuters) – Senior Republicans on Monday pushed their candidate in the Missouri Senate race, congressman Todd Akin, to quit over his remarks about rape that distracted from the build up to the party’s nomination of Mitt Romney for U.S. president next week.
    Democrats used the Akin remarks as evidence that Republicans are waging a “war on women,” largely over birth control.

    “Rape is rape,” Obama said. Akin’s comments underscore “why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women,” he said.
    Akin said he misspoke. He apologized but that he had no plans to drop out of the Senate race.

    “The good people of Missouri nominated me and I’m not a quitter. My belief is we’re going to take this one forward, and by the grace of God, we’re going to win this race,” he told The Mike Huckabee Show, a radio show hosted by the former Arkansas governor, a favorite of religious conservatives and Akin supporter.

    Republicans don’t care what the loonies in the Party believe, just don’t go public with it, certainly not when a candidate is in a race that it’s his to lose. Well, let’s hope he lost it. However, how much more evidence does the public need, even the “low-information voter”, that fanatics, morons, scientific illiterates, and Jesus-jammers are today’s Republican Party? Or, are such people greater than 50% of Mer’kans?

    1. skippy

      Its good to know some things never change in the stomping grounds of my youth. Pick up trucks with gun racks festooning the rear windscreen, round large black and white decals in upper right hand corner, proudly proclaiming… Coon Hunter.

      Skippy… personal favorites were the intercity vs country town football games and intercity church comes to blink and miss it sweat box church in the sticks. Ohh they do like a song and dance in the lords name! Never seen so many traumatized white folks sharing the love of their beliefs with others. It was like rigor mor´tis had set in lmao.

    2. Francois T

      The concept of low/mid/high information voter is getting more and more laughed out the door as neuroscience dig deeper in search of explaining how humans process the world around them.

      Turns out that attitude and temperament not only colors our perception, but it structure our ways of processing information:

      Lakoff and co-author Elisabeth Wehling explain that the human “brain is structured in terms of what are called ‘cascades.’”

      A cascade is a network of neurons that links many brain circuits. All of the linked circuits must be active at once to produce a given understanding.

      Simply put, the brain does not handle single ideas as separate entities: bigger context, a logical construct within which the idea is defined, is evoked in order to grasp its meaning.

      Cascades are central to political understanding, because they characterize the logic that structures that understanding.

      While liberals and conservatives often see their counterparts as horrible people these days, the reality, according to Lakoff, is that they’re processing information through very different, and often diametrically opposed moral frameworks.

      In a recent interview with AlterNet, Lakoff said, “Conservatives have a very different view of democracy, which follows their moral system.”

      The basic idea in terms of economics is that democracy gives people the liberty to seek their self interest and their own well-being without worrying or being responsible for the well-being or interest of anybody else. Therefore they say everybody has individual responsibility, not social responsibility, therefore you’re on your own. If you make it that’s wonderful. That’s what the market is about. If you don’t make it, that’s your problem.

      But it’s not just about the moral imperative to be self-sufficient – that’s always been central to the right’s moral worldview. But beginning in the early 1960s, with the advent of the Right’s deeply flawed “culture of poverty” narrative*, a defining morality tale about the public sector has been about how it does nothing but foster “dependency.” This, according to today’s conservatives, makes virtually every form of government intervention in the economy profoundly immoral, as it keeps a segment of the population mired in poverty for generations.

      This powerful story has only become more deeply entrenched in the conservative worldview with the growing influence of Ayn Rand. Rand wasn’t only a schlock novelist, she was also the progenitor of a sweeping “moral philosophy” that justifies the privilege of the wealthy and demonizes not only the slothful, undeserving poor but the lackluster middle-classes as well. Her books provided wide-ranging parables of a world made up of “parasites,” “looters” and “moochers” using the levers of government to steal the fruits of her heroes’ labor.

      While Ryan recently disavowed Rand’s philosophy, he’s on the record saying that Rand “makes the best case for the morality of democratic capitalism.” On another occasion, he said, “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.” 

      This philosophy is constantly reinforced. According to Lakoff, most people have both liberal and conservative moralities that vie for prominence as our brains process information. One “neural circuit is in mutual opposition to another neural circuit” he told AlterNet, and “each of those two inhibit each other.”

      For the Fox News crowd, the circuitry of conservative moralism is charged again and again every day. “When one of those circuits is activated over and over, more than the other, the stronger it gets and the weaker the inactive one gets,” said Lakoff. “The stronger one of these circuits gets, the more influence it’s going to have over various issues.”

      Shutting Down the Thinking Brain

      Princeton psychologist Daniel Kahneman refined earlier theories about how the brain functions on two levels – one instinctive and very quick, the other slower and more deliberate. He described the first as intuitive processing, or “system one cognition,” and the other as a process of reasoning, or “system two cognition.”

      And the key point here is it appears that when system one is active, system two shuts down. Or, to put it another way, when we perceive an issue in emotional terms (system one), we make a quick judgment in which we don’t think much about the details. This is common in our daily lives, but takes on real signifigance in our political culture, and while this tendency isn’t limited to a particular ideology, some research suggests that political conservatives are more likely to rely on the kind of snap judgments associated with system one cognition than liberals.

      (In his book, The Republican Brain, Chris Mooney suggests that there may be powerful evolutionary benefits for having an instinctive, knee-jerk process take over at times. If you were an early human wandering on the savanna and heard a rustling noise in the brush, it was to your advantage to instantly assume there’s a lion coming and have your fight-or-flight instinct kick in. If you paused to weigh the evidence of whether or not it might be a lion, there would be a good chance that you wouldn’t pass your genes onto future generations.) 

      Given the cascade of cognition – from a broad moral frame, to the way a specific issue is framed in our discourse and finally to the nitty-gritty details that most people ignore – and given how the fast, instinctive processing can overwhelm our more deliberative, reasoned cognitive process, it’s easy to understand how so many people on the right could be immune to the real-world consequences of doing things like cutting healthcare for poor children. It simply follows – from the overarching moral frame of dependency — that this kind of “tough love,” while perhaps painful in the near term, is ultimately beneficial for those feeling that pain.

      Isn’t That a Contradiction?

      It is a contradiction in one sense. But researchers have long observed that humans have an excellent capacity to hold contradictory beliefs. A recent study at the University of Kent, for example, found that those who believe Princess Diana was murdered are also more likely than most to think her death was faked.

      A number of researchers have posited that we stave off painful cognitive dissonance by a process called “motivated reasoning,” whereby we seek out plausible explanations for complex phenomena in order to make things fit into our previously held belief systems.

      Drew Westen, Pavel S. Blagov, Keith Harenski, Clint Kilts, and Stephan Hamann at Emory University describe ($$) motivated reasoning as a process by which, “people actually seek out information that confirms what they already believe.” This, say the researchers, results in “a form of implicit emotion regulation.”

      Writing in the New York Times, David Redlawsk, a political scientist at Rutgers, explains that “we are all somewhat impervious to new information, preferring the beliefs in which we are already invested.

      We often ignore new contradictory information, actively argue against it or discount its source, all in an effort to maintain existing evaluations. Reasoning away contradictions this way is psychologically easier than revising our feelings. In this sense, our emotions color how we perceive “facts.”

      Everyone does this, but some research suggests that political conservatives, perhaps because they are more set in their views, and more averse to cognitive dissonance, tend to display more motivated reasoning than liberals.

      When you hear someone like Paul Ryan proposing, for example, to shift $4,700 in health costs onto the backs of seniors living at the poverty level by 2022, it’s important to understand that the consequences of those actions – the factual, real-world results of these policies – are often inconsequential to like-minded people on the Right not because they’re (necessarily) bad people, but for the simple reason that the consequences don’t register. 

      While a half-dozen analyses paint a sharp picture of the cruelty inherent in the Ryan plan, it is this process of motivated reasoning that allows conservatives to simply block out any details that contradict their ideas about the need to avoid fostering a “culture of dependency.”

      And here, one of the apparent differences between conservative and liberal cognitive styles comes into play: the “backfire effect.” The term was coined by political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler, who found that when conservatives’ erroneous beliefs were confronted by factual rebuttals, they tended to double-down on those beliefs. The same dynamic wasn’t observed with liberals (they weren’t entirely swayed by the facts, but didn’t show the same tendency to believe false information more strongly after being presented with them).

  23. Up the Ante

    Paul is a Serious Shapeshifter

    So Krugman does have awareness of himself via blogsites with his “commentariat” ? Would Krugster prefer ‘the programmed’ over commenters ?

    Paul is joining ranks with George in this ?,

    “Bush cited the expansion of the “blogosphere” in the years since he and Clinton left office as a perpetrator of that incivility.

    “The blogosphere allows for anonymity,” he said. “You can say anything you want. It’s created a damn toxic environment.”

  24. Milton

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